Thanks, Pixel »« Dealing with badly behaving speakers

“Oh yeah? Well you’re UGLY”

A winning argument made by Scented Nectar and Abbie Smith of ERV:

Proof women can be sexist assholes too! I really feel like we should have a law for this, like Godwin’s law. “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a woman’s appearance being mentioned grows larger.” The type of remark can vary. I’ve been called both pretty and ugly as insults (hurrrr, or pretty ugly!). Women just can’t win.

Sadly, I’m used to this. You know, because I went to high school. And middle school. And elementary school. I was a slightly chubby awkward nerd, which means spent age 5 through 18 constantly having my appearance made fun of. I think my favorite endearing nickname bestowed on me was Sasquatch, since I had the audacity to be a foot taller than other girls my age. Honestly I’m always more befuddled when people attack me by calling me pretty or sexy, since it’s a concept I’m still not totally used to. Anyway, glad to know some people never outgrow that stage.

And ERV is shocked that National Geographic wants her to pull down some inappropriate material? Calling someone ugly for a laugh is the most benign thing she’s done.

Comments

  1. Stacy says

    How to attack every single male in the atheist movement

    Huh? How does that…whut? I don’t even.

  2. Aratina Cage says

    She twists practically everything any of us say anymore into the most bizarrely outrageous suggestions possible. Which reminds me, any anti-harassment policies at atheist events should be broad enough to take into account publicly documented behavior by speakers and attendees. No one should have to put up with the shit Abbie is flinging.

  3. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    i don’t think i’ve ever encountered someone so desperate for male approval as this woman. What is going on behind that obsessive needs to get boys to like you?

  4. fort nerd says

    Well, we could call it Jen’s Law. Or, if the Author finds that patronizing, McCreight’s Law. Either way, it needs to be a thing. Badly.

  5. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    And I’m talking about ERV, not McCreight just to be clear.

  6. says

    By talking ONLY of the jokes made in the comment section, you have completely avoided every point I made in my actual article, where your looks were not even mentioned. Can you please address my article’s points? If not, I will have to assume it’s because you can’t make any good arguments against what I’ve said.

  7. oldebabe says

    You’ve got it right when you say that some people may find one ugly, and some people may find one just plain lovely, and some people may find one sexually attractive… who knows what will, or will not appeal to whom? Dare I say `different strokes”…??? And in most instances, actual physical appearance is not even a mitigating factor if magazine/fashion looks are the criteria, as it just isn’t real, as everyone knows. Kind of a useless conversation, ISTM.

    It also seems to me that some people (in my experience, mostly, but not exclusively men) will behave inappropriately a lot of the time, and the more power/notoriety they have, the more frequently. This is not news, or new, and certainly not confined to skeptical-type or atheist conferences, tho sad and uncomfortable when it occurs. When I went to TAM-3,
    I had three come-ons, tho all benign (tho none from any of the speakers), which did point up the fact that even with people of ones own ilk, one could expect disappointment. Life?

    Still in the past any women who aligned themselves with progressive or less-than conservative ideas, and certainly those who questioned religion, were considered `loose’, and treated accordingly. Perhaps this is the carry-over of that, too. Anyway, you probably know all this already.

    Just thought I’d put in my two cents as this topic of male speakers acting badly, and who they are, continues.

  8. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    here, let me: Please like me, boys!! I’ll say whatever horrible things about other girls you want! please please Please LIKE MEE!!!!!!!

  9. IslandBrewer says

    Abbie Smith completely baffles me.

    You know, I can explain (not excuse, mind you, but explain) a lot of sexist/racist/homophobic views in my unenlightened fellow humans. Sources of ignorance-born hate aren’t that hard to figure out.

    Abbie Smith, however, is just unhinged.

  10. shouldbeworking says

    We could call it voter the type of peron most likely o use it. How about the “middle school male law”?

  11. shouldbeworking says

    Crap. That should be the person most likely to say it. I need either more coffee or to proof read BEFORE hitting submit.

  12. Stacy says

    The bullying, sexist nature of the “jokes” is the topic under discussion.

    As for your article–pffff. You are not entitled to anybody’s attention. I’m sure I speak for multitudes when I say, nobody gives a fuck about your article.

  13. says

    “You obviously can’t rebut my reasoned arguments because you choose to instead address the comments where you were personally attacked. Way to avoid the discussion! Also, the personal attacks were just jokes, so lighten up.”

  14. Francisco Bacopa says

    It’s been almost a year now and she’s still going on about this?

    I used read and enjoy ERV. She seemed perfectly normal. Stopped reading ERV after the elevator thing got started ad never went back.

    BTW, anyone else still hoping the elevator guy goes public? He might not be that bad a guy, just clueless. Maybe this uproar has been a learning experience for him. But maybe not. He might just be a jerk.

  15. Reginald Selkirk says

    If not, I will have to assume it’s because you can’t make any good arguments against what I’ve said.

    I’ll take stoopid fallacies for $100, Alex.

  16. says

    “I don’t read the articles, I just go there for the comments” is that what you’re saying? That’s nice for you, dear. Enjoy yourself however you like.

  17. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Then that’s just one more thing you’re wrong about. I’ve read creationism apologetics and evolution denying articles too. I also didn’t waste my time refuting those either. A waste of time is a waste of time. No matter how much desperation for approval drips off it.

  18. Stacy says

    Can you please address my article’s points? If not, I will have to assume it’s because you can’t make any good arguments against what I’ve said

    Emphasis mine.

    [Meta:

    Is this an inept attempt at manipulation, or sheer stupidity? Or a combination?]

  19. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Translation: Scented Nectar is a hypocrite.

    Strap on those tap shoes, desperate girl! There are boys in the this thread right now!! Quick, say somethig misogynistic so they’ll know how cool you are.

  20. OverlappingMagisteria says

    They even messed up their own logic: Jen isn’t calling herself ugly at all. Here’s what I posted on their site:

    I don’t see how Jen is calling herself ugly at all (not that it would be relevant to the discussion in any case). If anything, her post was placing herself as one of pretty ones:

    “… with warnings that [the speakers] often make unwanted and aggressive sexual advances toward young pretty women and that I should not be alone with them.”

    In other words, the speakers are targeting pretty girls and Jen is getting a warning because she is a potential target. She is one of the pretty girls.

    And are you seriously saying that just because they have no first hand experience that they must therefore not be pretty? As if an aggressive speaker would instantly hit on every pretty girl at every conference? According to your weird logic, unless someone is currently ogling you at this moment, you must not be attractive.

    I would think you would value logic a little bit more. And the whole “Haha you’re ugly” retorts are really immature.

  21. says

    No, just a guess based on the fact that the original topic IS what my article discussed. Jen and Stephanie have recently both written articles about the bad-guys-list. My article addressed those, but Jen addressed none of my counterpoints to their points. Instead, she only addressed this totally off-topic topic of the comment section joke.

  22. Stacy says

    I don’t “go there” at all, you narcissistic lackwit. I’m responding to Jen’s post about ERV’s nasty sense of humor.

  23. says

    Neither. It’s me wondering why the article itself that I wrote (in response to what Jen and Stephanie wrote) is being avoided like crazy in lieu of the easy topic of “she said I was ugly in the comments, waaaa”. Addressing my serious points would involve having to answer some things that they really don’t want to be asked.

  24. bubba707 says

    And some people wonder why I won’t have anything to do with skeptic or atheist groups. This kind of crap isn’t just dumb as a fencepost, it’s a whole fencerow of dumb. This subject should just be called men who think with their dicks and the women who love them.

  25. OverlappingMagisteria says

    ScentedNectar: The purpose of this article was to address the jokes made in the comments on your article, not your actual article. Don’t complain that it never addressed something that it wasn’t meant to address.

    Hey, I can play the same game: You’re ignoring Jen’s comments on you and ERV’s stupid joke! Since you said nothing to defend yourself just now I must assume you can’t defend the joke and you concede that it was stupid and immature!

  26. Hertta says

    The topic of this post is your childish spite, not you poorly written blog post that you for some reason insist on calling an “article”? And before you inevitably ask “Did you read my article?”: No, I skimmed through.

  27. eric says

    You agree Tabby’s characterization is accurate. And you see nothing wrong with that? Wow.

  28. eric says

    Let me put your wonder to rest. No well-reasoned article makes and added-on personal insult acceptable. Your article could include a Nobel-winning explanation for the meaning of life, and if you follow it with “and oh yeah, Alice is fat” then people can rightly take you to task for calling Alice fat.

    There, do you understand now?

  29. says

    Your article was literally a complete fabrication. I didn’t say any of the things you said I did. I never talked about blacklisting people or starting a witch hunt – in fact, I said the complete opposite, saying I want to solve this situation in a way that avoided that. I’m not wasting my time replying to blatant lies and misrepresentation from someone with a bizarre vendetta against me, when all someone has to do to realize what you wrote is utter crap is to read my original post.

    Let me ask YOU a question. What do you have against anti-harassment policies, since that’s what we suggested to do?

  30. Reginald Selkirk says

    SFW? Since she was personally attacked in the comments, it is perfectly reasonable for her to respond to them. This does not obligate her to react to, or even to acknowledge, the content of your original post. You seem to think that the world revolves around you.

  31. says

    This. That post also completely ignores that I’m working for actual documentation to base any banning decisions on–kinda the opposite of a witch hunt.

    If someone wants me to respond to something they wrote, it should maybe be about something I said instead of just having my name and my text stuck next to a bunch of garbage. That’s the kind of thing you see on scraper sites. I don’t respond to those either.

    And oh, Abbie. I remember the days when she said all this was going to stick to the issues because talking about people’s appearance was irrelevant. I guess that went nowhere quickly. I don’t think this has been good for her.

  32. says

    As a sort of broader point… when I don’t like people on a personal level, I don’t spend time following them around and commenting on the things they do. I don’t make up lies about them, the way Scented Nectar does. I certainly don’t find places where other people are talking about them in order to make fun of their appearance the way Abbie Smith does.

    That’s because I’m a rational adult, and rational adults generally have better things to do.

  33. says

    Maybe. Are you saying that you agree with my article but not the joke in the comments? I have no problem with that. Or, are you doing like some here and refusing to read the article due to the comments offending you too much?

  34. Pteryxx says

    Personally I’m refusing to read your article because you’re being so annoying right here. If you had actual points, you could’ve made those here, too, in half the time you’ve spent telling everyone to go read your article. Sheesh.

  35. says

    Before today’s decision by you all to inflict new, harsh, radfeminist-defined harassment rules (=vague everything that makes me sad must be sexist, waaa), you were talking yesterday about having a bad guy sexist speakers blacklist. And don’t pretend you didn’t. Everyone’s read it anyways. I didn’t lie at all in my article. If you want to accuse me of that, get specific. You should know by now that I don’t just take your word on things. :)

    So tell me, have you scrapped the whispering of blacklist names to attendees and organizers? I don’t think so. Have you decided NOT to try and mess with the income of some of those speakers you compete with for event slots? I don’t think so.

    Who will be the decider of right and wrong in sexism claims at events that take on your paranoid rules? Will the women’s word always carry automatically assumed credibility? Somehow, I think so and what a surprise!

  36. Robert says

    Is there a pool going on whether you will get an actual reply? Cuz I’d like to put ten down on “no” and maybe five down on “make more crap up and shift the goal posts”.

  37. says

    Ah, I was waiting for someone to claim that I’m greedy. Congrats, you were the first one! Anyway, you should know I waive an honorarium at all of my events, so I don’t get paid a dime. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  38. says

    Can you please be specific and tell me where I lied? I like to correct any mistakes I make, so if you can explain to me where I lied and convince me the truth is something else, I’ll correct it. Ok, your turn now.

  39. Robert says

    My sincere (and shockingly naive) hope is that he realizes what he did, and just is too embarrassed to say anything.

  40. Mattir says

    As one of the sister wives of the amazing Josh Spokesgay, I can assure you that we all have plenty of Teh Hawt Secks. It pleases me no end, however, that our activities cannot be imagined by the likes of the slimepit. There are some places I do not want to be, and in their imaginations is one of them,

  41. Robert says

    Well how about: The femtheists want to surreptitiously take away these men’s speaking income without having to present any evidence for their claims.

    That’s a pretty nasty accusation made without any evidence whatsoever.

    That and the childlike insults and rabid defensive of your attack piece pretty much prove to me that you are not worth my time.

  42. says

    PAINT! That my friend is a Gibson Les Paul Standard in Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish, and is worth more than your life and mine combined!

  43. adamgordon says

    From your pile of straw you call a blog post:

    Now, she and some of the other femtheists, want to create a list. A collection of anecdotal harassment/assault claims, naming privately, the speakers who they are accusing. The event organizers will be asked not to invite them, for the sake of women’s safety.

    That’s a big fucking lie right there. Show us where exactly Jen advocates the creation and implementation of such a ‘blacklist.’

    Note: “mentions” and “advocates” are two different things. Jen mentioning the creation of such a list is not the same as Jen advocating the use of such a list.

  44. says

    How about you delete the whole thing, re-read what people are saying instead of posting based on a funhouse-mirror version of what they said after having been filtered through your supposed mind, and start over from scratch? Other than spelling, you got everything wrong and I think you were as honest then as you are now by asking for a point-by-point refutation.

    That is to say, not at all.

  45. ChasCPeterson says

    Several of the pitizens, Ms. Nectar included, have convinced each other that EG never existed–Watson, they surmise, made the whole thing up to get attention and has been lying about it ever since.

  46. WLCraigsNemesis says

    By the same standards, I expect Blag Hag put up an article about PZ Myers’ desire to inflict violence of a man.

    It’s hypocrisy, otherwise.

    A desire to inflict violence is worse than calling somebody ugly, IMHO.

  47. adamgordon says

    SFW? We’re all ‘potential’ rapists, ‘potential’ murderers, ‘potential’ anything. What a stupid thing to say.

  48. twirlgrl says

    OT, however: I lurk a lot and almost never comment but today, Jen, in the midst of this bullshit, I want you to know that you are a huge inspiration to me and to many others. Thank you for being a strong, smart, rational woman. Much love.

  49. WLCraigsNemesis says

    EG won’t go public, because he has been smeared as a potential rapist.

  50. says

    Before today’s decision by you all to inflict new, harsh, radfeminist-defined harassment rules (=vague everything that makes me sad must be sexist, waaa),
    Oh, I didn’t know that harrassment-rules (wait, who inflicted them on whom and why didn’t I get my whip delivered already?) are a radfem thing. They really must rule the world, just like those over at the spearhead claim.

  51. Robert says

    So I just noticed that the title to her “article” is “Utter Malicious Nonsense”.

    I certainly have to agree there. The content that followed was “Utter Malicious Nonsense”.

  52. Ze Madmax says

    I don’t think you understand what the point of this article was. Or what “hypocrisy” means, for that matter.

  53. WLCraigsNemesis says

    One of the reasons they are keeping it secret is because one of the names involved is a popular and frequent poster at various FTB threads, who is actually held in high regard by many in the FTB community.

    They would be suprised if the name of the young buck came out.

  54. says

    Ok I’ll adress your post.

    Its a classic straw man argument about on par with Fox news spin stories. Jen and Zhen call for some publicly available anti-harassment policies for skeptical events. You say they are trying to create closed doors incontestable banning of speakers on their say so. However for all your quotes you never actually show for instance that this is what they are advocating. This is on exactly the same level as the Obama death panel story and deserves about as much respect.

    Utterly Maliscious Nonsense and paranoia indeed.

  55. ChasCPeterson says

    Yessss!!!! Chalk up another gotcha for the crack pitizen team of gotcha-chalker-uppers! You guys are ever-vigilant, eh?
    And, as usual, totally on point: if somebody chooses to respond to a comment in which she specifically is laughed at for being a (putatively) ugly “disgusting she-beast”, but does not in the same breath publicly condemn a stupid metaphorical tweet PZ tweeted six months ago, that’s totally hypocritical, and it makes everybody who blogs or comments at any of the FT blogs a hypocrite as well! Good one!
    Hey, have you used the one about Sally Strange and the funny rape-joke recently? That was a classic gotcha right there.
    Keep up the great work!

  56. WLNemesis says

    It was actually a very prominent FTB blogger who came up with that argument originally. It was they who said EG was a “potential rapist”, and many FTB posters agreed.

    Actually, I agree with you. It was very stupid. But shhh, don’t tell ‘em – they don’t take criticism too well.

  57. WLNemesis says

    never posts to FTB

    Shows how much you know, Jen.

    C’mon Jen, always name names

    Don’t be shy now. We both know the popular FTB poster lothario we are talking about.

  58. WLCNemeses says

    Metaphorical???

    Like the Virgin Birth?

    I like how you go all religious when pushed in a corner. Aye.

  59. says

    No, I’ll get to that. I’ll answer Jen about the harassment rules. I would want to know who is defining what crimes, and how right or wrongdoing is to be determined. I am personally doubtful that it would be done in a fair, unbiased manner, but I’m open to being convinced otherwise once the details are ironed out and they are made public.

  60. says

    If you wish to not read my articles because of not liking the comments, and perhaps also the fact that I thought it funny and am not removing it (probably wouldn’t even if I didn’t think it funny), that’s totally your prerogative. I use different reasons for reading or not reading things myself, but everyone’s an individual. If the joke makes someone not read it, how can I complain? Everyone makes their own choices and has their own interests.

  61. says

    I’d like to drop in, at this point, to say that sexual harassment (like, for instance, insults based on the physical appearance and/or sexuality of someone) is not a function of attractiveness.

    It’s a function of power and culture/gender policing, as the following studies discuss:

    http://genderbias.net/docs/resources/guideline/The%20sexual%20harassment%20of%20uppity%20women.pdf

    http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios/file/BerdahlAMR2007.pdf

    http://www.bsos.umd.edu/psyc/gelfand/Gelfandetal1995.pdf

    Sexually harassing Jen for talking about sexual harassment problems is not about desire it’s about conformity. And yes, women can sexually harass each other. Moreover, the sexual harassment of female speakers is not about desire, it’s about gender policing.

    It’s completely plausible that saying Jen and other women at Freethoughtblogs are safe from sexual harassment because they’re ugly is a form of sexual harassment which is likely to be caused by the desire to fit in to cultures of toxic masculinity: after all, it’s using the same tools.

  62. says

    Actually, I was mostly addressing what they wrote BEFORE getting on the new rules kick today. I was addressing the blacklist of untried but convicted speakers that they want to tell event organizers not to hire. My article was not about the harassment rules topic that developed from those first articles about the list. That’s why you haven’t seen me address the new rules in my article. My article was in response to the list that they wrote about BEFORE the topic changed to the new rules.

  63. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Yes, because “metaphor” is totally a religious thing and a True Skeptic has no business ever saying anything that isn’t meant to be taken literally.
    You are grasping at straws*.

    *this is an expression meaning that you are seeking out feeble excuses to justify your position, not a claim that you are literally clenching straws with your hands.

  64. Forbidden Snowflake says

    People who can’t handle the idea of not having strangers trust them by default probably shouldn’t be out in public anyway.

  65. says

    You mean like when people tried to bully organizers and such into not booking Rebecca Watson anymore and when they tried to get her fired from SGU?
    Tell me, where was your outrage about such a smear campaign then?
    Ah, I remember, you were busy cheering them on…

  66. says

    Also, that was before they backed down and started writing that there would be some sort of system to determine guilt. It was originally just going to be a large collection of unverified anecdotes collected by Zvan in her first article on it. They’ve taken a step back now, realizing their original plan would not go over well, and could even get them in legal trouble. They’ve switched to Plan NextBestThing or something.

  67. Concentratedwater, OM says

    Here you go, have a string of pearls to clutch. The fainting couch is to your left, you poor sweet thing, you.

  68. says

    Sadly, I’m used to this. You know, because I went to high school. And middle school. And elementary school. (Jen)

    Yes but at least you left them all behind. Pathetic giggling Abbie is stuck there, at the assholes’ table.

  69. kagekiri says

    Seriously. I expect this madness and delusion from religious fundies, fascists, people with psychological conditions, and other people whose brains are broken by brainwashing or unfortunate biology.

    To see it in people who are apparently in the sciences and claim no religious indoctrination….it’s really rather depressing.

    Apparently, they’ve managed to make themselves bigoted, hateful, idiotic, blinded to truth, and utterly lacking in basic moral character without the help of madness, horribly outdated religious beliefs, or psychopathic nationalism. I wish it weren’t possible, but they’re proof it is.

  70. says

    You got what I said wrong. I’m not even trying to determine whether she and Zvan advocate or merely mention it at times. What’s important is that both have admitted to its existence.

  71. says

    Don’t worry, I still use all the bad words you’re scared of, but around this crowd right here, it would cause more fainting vapours than there are couches to catch everyone. Politeness is called for under such under-couched, over-sensitive conditions sometimes. :)

  72. says

    I think I can speak for the rest of The Slimepit, in saying that we too, are very glad that you having sex, of any type at all, is not in our imaginations. It’s nice that we can all agree on that. :)

  73. Eric RoM says

    “To see it in people who are apparently in the sciences and claim no religious indoctrination….it’s really rather depressing.”

    Wow, you don’t get out much, do you?

  74. adamgordon says

    What the hell are you talking about? Your own words are in future tense…’will create,’ etc. now suddenly the list already exists? I’ve read Jen and Stephanie’s posts through again and can’t anywhere find where they advocate the creation or use of such a list. If you have quotes from those posts that you think do in fact support your points, please identify them specifically other than using the dodge of ‘it’s in Stephanie’s post.’

  75. says

    In the spirit of your post… Put up the quote where they call for blacklisting men without appeal or viewing of the evidence. That’s the challenge for, cite the point or concede your pile of straw.

  76. Echidna says

    The nasty things you say in the comments are the issue. I’m amazed that you have chosen to publish such puerile stuff.

  77. says

    And this right here is why I defriended Smith, stopped following her blog and didn’t lose sleep over missing her talk at Skeptics of Oz. I have no patience for crap like that.

  78. sc_82aa2379a8d9c3c7aacd01b9c36b5462 says

    It’s also a little stupid to attribute to a FFBs blogger an idea that originated with Susan Brownmiller in the 70s and has been so repeatedly, wilfully misinterpreted since then that it has become one of the (many) cliches of anti-feminist rhetoric. It’s also kind of stupid to wilfully misinterpret it yet again. The term “potential rapist” was used to describe a woman’s perception of threat, it was not a pithy expression of the idea that everyone with a penis is a slathering man-beast only restrained from indulging himself at the expense of any convenient women by fear of punishment.

  79. says

    I see you must be of the school that misinterprets the meaning of ‘potential’. Get over it, seriously. EG was assessed as a predatory manipulator based on the behaviour reported by RW – he was not some socially awkward wallflower making a fumbled attempt at social contact.
    It is not a mainstream view of feminism that ‘all men are rapists’ – feel free to go and misquote the well-known Marilyn French novel if you want, but you won’t find widespread support for that view.

  80. julian says

    Ditto.

    Which is a bit hypocritical coming from someone who’s as spiteful as I am but, jesus, debasing a woman for asking for a better (or any. Most of the atheist meets don’t have any policy regarding sexual harassment) sexual harassment policy should be one of those things you type and then delete and scold yourself for being so stupid.

    Going a step further and mocking her because she’s too ugly to molest is, well, I would hope beneath most people. Setting aside just how idiotic that is, it’s blatantly misogynistic.

  81. kagekiri says

    Nope, I admittedly don’t get out much and don’t really socialize at all, I’ve been dealing with depression and social anxiety for years now.

    I see plenty of this brand of stupid from all the fundies I grew up with and still encounter regularly. Problem is, I don’t know many confessed atheists or skeptics personally, so the internet is my source for skeptical/secular interactions.

    I guess my hope was that atheists with science training wouldn’t have insanely vindictive, blinkered, and bigoted hatreds. Is this brand of hateful delusion really so common among atheists if you “get out more”? That really sucks.

  82. says

    I’m the only atheist I know. I don’t get to go to conferences. I’m not a scientist. My sole interaction with fellow atheists is here at FtB, and listening to various podcasts.

    The problem hasn’t surfaced in those places, so forgive me if it comes as a surprise that there’s asshats within the ranks.

  83. hieropants says

    Man I didn’t realize “blacklisted” meant “invited to conventions, paid to speak to an admiring crowd, and never publicly called on shitty behavior”, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me

  84. Robert says

    Sweet Nectar is apparently playing troll bingo, moving down all the boxes.

    She created a post attacking two FtB bloggers for trying to create a “black-list”, a position they actually haven’t taken and have spoken against.

    Sweets claims her “article” is mostly dealing with Ms Zvan’s post, but really she spends her whole article attacking one suggestion; which was to say something if something happens to you, either publicly or privately (pretty reasonable really). She postulates all kinds of nasty motivations for this, such as they are trying to affect the income of the speakers.

    She refuses to actually engage their point, which is mostly to raise awareness and to create anti-harassment polices (which has been apparently successful at this point! Whoo!). When she finally sort of acknowledges it she attacks them by saying it won’t be fairly administered; ignoring the fact that the event organizers are implementing these policies, no one has put Ms Zvan or Ms McCreight in charge of these policies.

    She then spends her time commenting on every post that points any of this out, shifting goal posts and generally not clarifying anything.

    Seriously, it’s time to stop feeding the trolls.

  85. Brownian says

    Right. As am I.

    You really want to get other men on your side on this, don’t you?

    The reason that you’re not going to, not here, is that most of us understand that because of the behaviour of other men we’re not going to be given the benefit of the doubt just because we think we’re one of the good ones and want perfect strangers to see us that way.

    Probably because we’re not narcissistic half-wits and thus understand that it’s not about us and our feelings.

  86. Stacy says

    kagekiri, it happens, but there are lots of terrific people, men and women, too.

    Best wishes to you in your struggles. I’ve dealt with those issues myself.

  87. says

    Jen, if you’re around, I have a comment I would like to have published which is probably caught in the spam filter because it has research study links.

    If you please, I’d love to add it to the conversation.

  88. says

    Dear Scented Nectar:

    This thread is about you and ERV resorting to name calling about appearance, not about your fucking idiotic post. Any more thread derailing will result in you being banned. You’ve been fairly warned.

    Now, if you want to explain why calling me ugly is totally acceptable, feel free to debate that point. I’m dying to hear what you have to say.

  89. karmakin says

    @Scented: I’m actually one of the people who originally brought up the idea of a blacklist of sorts, given that the information can be proven/collaborated. In no way shape or form, as far as I can tell, does Stephanie, Jen or most of the bloggers here support this. I disagree with their stance, although I understand it, more or less. It’s simply more moderate than I would be.

    Why do I support a strong anti-harassment policy? Because I don’t think it should be up to the potential victims to police themselves, more or less. I think that even the concept of “inching” is problematic, and people should ALWAYS err on the side of caution. I do think we tend to assign too much privilege to socially aggressive attitudes and actions in our society, and this harassment is a DIRECT result of that. While gender and gender roles definitely have a role..probably a majority role, in this, they’re not the only factor involved.

    Short version:If the other person has to tell you No, chances are you ALREADY violated their space.

    I don’t think they’re bad people for this, I think that people are trying the best we can, it’s just that this is a particular privilege that’s under the radar. Such is life.

  90. hieropants says

    Oh, I see! You didn’t get to the part where she talked about conferences adopting anti-harassment policies that would define the kinds of behavior that are classified as ‘harassment’ and track reports of said behavior so that refusal to invite certain speakers could be based on evidence instead of vague hearsay.

    I guess you feel pretty silly now, having written up a whole rant about a policy nobody ever proposed!

  91. Robert says

    There are real serious problems that need to be addressed within the atheist / humanist community. But to put a bright spin on it, many of us are trying to address the problem head on.

    As a result of this being brought up there are now anti-harassment policies being implemented by con organizers. This is a firm improvement.

  92. Brownian says

    Looks like that’s exactly what you did for your first dozen or so comments here.

    Mmm-hmm.

  93. says

    And tell us if you do that in the rest of your life, and how it works out for you. Do you call your relatives ugly? If you have grandparents or parents living, do you tell them how ugly they’re getting? If you think a friend’s child is ugly, do you tell the friend the child is ugly? Do you tell the child? Do you tell your friends they’re ugly? Do you tell colleagues they’re ugly? Do you call people ugly whenever you lose your temper?

    If so, does it go well? Do they all like you the better for it? Do they admire and respect you? Do they think you’re a wise, honest, thoughtful, generally decent person? Is that what you think of yourself – you’re a kind of Lenny Bruce for the modern era?

  94. NoxiousNana says

    Either ERV doesn’t want anti-harassment policies at atheist events or Abbie has an obsessive and high schooly need to be bratty to her betters. Quell surprise! Either way it’s an embarrassment of schoolyard behavior.

  95. F says

    How do you not understand that Jen is talking about something that you and ERV said? Why does she need to address something else you said? Jen is free to choose what she addresses, and if you think she is avoiding something to hide from it, and cherry-picking some obscure item to attack, that’s your problem.

    It doesn’t matter one whit what you said in the article. It could have been the most intelligent and enlightening article in the the universe. It does nothing to change the fact that you and Abbie decided to be assholes in the comments. Which is what Jen is addressing. This does nothing to detract from what you said in the article – I don’t know what it was, but I’ll read it. But this seems quite parallel to the sexist issues some male speakers have in the atheist/skeptic lecture circuit: regardless as to how brilliant they are on their chosen topic, they can still be sexist assholes. One does not change the fact of the other.

  96. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I don’t understand why so many people seem to have such an intense difficulty with understanding the definition of “potential.”

    po·ten·tial

    ADJECTIVE:

    Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent: a potential problem.
    Having possibility, capability, or power.
    Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verbal construction with auxiliaries such as may or can; for example, it may snow.

    Unless you are arguing that you lack the ability to rape, I don’t see how you could argue that you aren’t a potential rapist.

  97. says

    … or some combination of both? Seriously, the level of misrepresentation and vitriol coming from her is such that you kind of think she actually wants (at least some) people to be harassed or even assaulted, since she stands so strongly against efforts to prevent that sort of thing. I mean really, painting a few posts about a small number the cream of the crop of the male speakers behaving badly as “attack[ing] every single male in the atheist movement” is so irrational and ridiculous that it is hard to make sense of it without ascribing equally irrational motives.

  98. Erista (aka Eris) says

    *sigh*

    I want you to imagine, for a moment, that you are standing in a room and you see someone throwing a hefty pan at a cat. Horrified, you make very vocal objections. The person then huffs that the overwhelming majority of their day was spent NOT throwing pans at cats, and why aren’t you talking about all that time? Besides, they were just kidding with the cat! They didn’t mean to really hurt it!

    When you do something wrong, you don’t get to insist that no one should care about that wrong thing because hey, it’s not like you ONLY did that wrong thing. No one ONLY did any wrong thing.

  99. IslandBrewer says

    Sorry, I didn’t get the joke. (Jokes are those funny things, right?)

    Think you could explain your humorous joke to me, here? My humor is obviously not as sophistimacated as yours.

  100. happyathiestmommy says

    I read the article. I didn’t comment on it because I considered it to be strawman so tall that I didn’t want to bother climbing it, and the comments were so ridiculous that I didn’t consider it worth responding to. I did, however, leave a very brief book report reply to your comment on Jen’s post.
    Just because people don’t consider your hyperbolic reactions worthy of their time to debate does not make you right by default.

  101. IslandBrewer says

    My brother has FINALLY gotten through to my 6 year old niece, and she has stopped calling other girls ugly when she gets into fights with them (she’s going through a serious “mean girls” phase, but we’re confident she’s coming out of it).

    Maybe she’s actually ahead of the curve, there.

  102. Concentratedwater, OM says

    What do you mean? What is “an OM”? Is there a governing body which allows one to become “an OM”? I do hope it isn’t some tiresome internet badge of honor, conferred upon a person by their online pals.

    Have I misappropriated something which is trademarked, copyrighted, or otherwise subject to legally binding restrictions upon its use?

    Or have I just decided that I would like to be associated with a particular group of people on the internet, who commonly use a certain pair of letters to denote their shared beliefs?

    English is clearly not your first language, and you must be allowed some slack for that. But please don’t use the language to argue such a flimsy position with your betters.

  103. says

    What do you mean? What is “an OM”? Is there a governing body which allows one to become “an OM”? I do hope it isn’t some tiresome internet badge of honor, conferred upon a person by their online pals.

    Are you being deliberately obtuse or did you really just decide to tack OM onto your user name to look cool? You certainly have not been awarded the Order of the Molly.

  104. mnb0 says

    I refuse to get used to “Oh yeah? Well you’re UGLY” – the same for “Why does a beautiful girl like you …..”. And mind you, I love insulting people on Internet. I have told Jesusmythologists on Ftb that they apply creationist logic with the specific intention to piss them off.
    Everyone who uses appearances as an “argument” is dumb, stupid, idiot, whatever (my apologies to the mentally challenged). Fora where such remarkss are the standard are to be avoided by all means.
    So I welcome any policy that censors stuff like that, on internet ánd on conventions.

  105. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    And I don’t care what you think that says of me.

    Then why are you still talking?

  106. Utakata says

    Actually, I think it was *Hitchens who once stated that when people resort to ad honimens, then you know you have won.

    *Note: I understand he may not have been the best example to use for this subject, but I think what he said was fitting regarding Smith’s and Nectar’s rather ignorant and childish rants.

  107. bubba707 says

    Like the old saying says, you can cure ignorance with education but you can’t fix stupid.

  108. julian says

    Betters?!

    You think you’re her better?!

    No.

    You’re a joke. A poor one. The type you politely nod your head and smile at.

    A faded facsimile warped by an over inflated sense of self worth and wit.

  109. eric says

    I’m saying that Jen, in her post, has every right to point out the personal and immature attack you made about her, regardless of what your post says. And I’m saying that other people who wish to discuss Jen’s post – which is about your comment – have the same right, again regardless of what your post says.

    By constantly bringing up your post in a thread which is not about your post, you’re either looking for some sort of confirmation or trying what PZ calls the “courtier’s reply” – i.e., trying to pretend cogent criticism of your comment doesn’t count until the people making those criticisms read other material, specified by you.

  110. Mattir says

    This is beyond ugly. Amazingly enough, it is possible to have discussions about sexual harassment, asking women to have coffee at 4 am in an elevator, flirting, and hooking up at conferences without resorting to calling the people one dislikes either ugly or crazy. I’m of an age to have experienced some very bad workplace sexual harassment, the sort that give you mild PTSD symptoms 25 years later, and from that perspective, I didn’t take the whole elevator proposition thing all that seriously at first. But when this nonsense is still going on, with really distasteful mean-girl name calling, months afterwards, it leads me to reconsider my original assessment – the people who are advocating the “not such a big deal” position have pretty much destroyed the credibility of that position.

    It’s an actual ad hominem situation – I’ve reconsidered my original position because of the rhetoric employed by other advocates of that position. Nice job, guys. (Plus I was convinced by all the discussion that resulted from that rhetoric.)

  111. Happiestsadist says

    Joining in the Jen-love here. Jen, you’re fucking awesome. So you know.

  112. says

    Thanks for confirming my original suspicions. You’re in middle-school, right? At any rate I don’t play with ill-mannered kiddies.

  113. Happiestsadist says

    Yes, you twit, keep arguing that words and symbols have no meaning, and the charming delusion that you’re better than anyone. I’ve scooped wittier than you out of the litter box.

  114. Happiestsadist says

    Yes, because the best response to misogyny is to add some of your own! Seriously, sit the fuck down and educate yourself a little more before you embarrass yourself further.

  115. Concentratedwater, OM says

    And I, Happiestsadist, have coughed up jizzballs from my boyfriend with greater intellect than you display. Do I win? Probably.

    My OM was fought for and earned in the trenches, and I will not see it stripped from me. Go from here, and consider yourselves fallen from favor with The Horde.

    *SQUAWK!!!*

  116. Happiestsadist says

    Wow, you’re trying really hard. That’s really sad. I mean, such effort and you’re so still bad at this.

    I mean, god, can’t you put a little effort into your trolling?

  117. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    I always have to wonder what is wrong with the kind of person who gets bent out of shape at the idea that a woman who doesn’t know him wouldn’t be able to tell if he is a rapist or not.

    Here is a clue, since you clearly need one: the “potential rapist” thing is about the fact that women have to watch their backs, not a statement about the moral standing of men as a category.

  118. Bleeder says

    Every time I see ERV write anything about feminism, gender, or sex, I hear that “America, F–k Yeah!” song from “Team America: World Police” in my head. There is some sort of irony, cognitive dissonance, willful ignorance, and jingoistic combo going on there that resonates.

  119. says

    SN, I have to say that your critics are substantively correct. Firstly, that this post is about yours and ERV’s schoolyard behaviour, which deeply undermines your arguments and credibility. Second, that when we look at your article, you present a distorted and disingenuous account of an evolving position on anti-harassment, which attributes views to Jen and Stephanie that they do not hold or espouse.
    You have acted in a disgraceful and mean-spirited manner, both in your original post and on this thread. A piece that could have been a warning against the dangers of policies turning into witch-hunts–something that could have been a point of debate about devising a sensible policy that protects all folks–instead became a bald accusation of a desire to launch a witch-hunt. Going by Jen and Stephanie’s statements that is patently untrue and I reckon you owe them an apology.

  120. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Yes, a person who calls others “catty bitches” is totally the one to berate others for “middle school” behavior.
    Go to an ophthalmologist, you seem to have a beam in your eye.

  121. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You have some nerve, SN. You’ve spewed some of the most vile shit I’ve ever seen. What the hell is wrong with you?

  122. csrster says

    “What is going on behind that obsessive needs to get boys to like you?”
    Dunno, but it’s not working.

  123. says

    I think it’s important to notice that the original original Elevator-thingy was no big deal.
    I saw that video before the whole thing blew up and filed it as as an “unremarkable mild rebute at the end of an unremarkable video”.
    I don’t see how you could voice your discomfort with such a thing in milder terms.
    It became a big deal when people blew it up à la Watson the evil man-hater who cries rape for being offered a hot beverage and who now wants to castrate all men.
    Additionally she’s mean because she’s a beautiful celebrity who has now broken the heart of a poor awkward guy and she’s an ugly bitch who should be glad that anybody wanted to fuck her at all and actually nothing happened because “come up for coffee” totally can’t mean sex.

  124. furtivezoog says

    For the right person (me, at least) and in the right part of the country (the NW), “Sasquatch” would be an awesome nickname! I’m kinda jealous.

  125. Kilian Hekhuis says

    By using the self-coined term “femtheists” you already discredit yourself, and is a clear pointer of things to come. I’ve scanned the article, and it’s tripe. Those “femtheists” (are you a “femtheist” for not preferring to be sexual harassed?) are trying to get out in the open that the atheist community is not free from misogyny, and that particalurly well-known and influential speakers are displaying intolarable sexist, harassing behaviour, without naming them precisely because of lack of other than anecdotal (even if first-hand) proof. In your article, you are putting up the strawman that what they want is to create a secret list to get rid of those speakers behind the scenes, then denounce that, then attack femenists by a number of logical fallacies. To be honest, I’d never heard of you before today, nor read your blog, but you’re high on my to-be-avoided list now.

  126. urmensch says

    I remember when I was 18, and had already come out as gay, and I was talking with a friend.
    She was describing things that freaked her out and one of those things was when out walking at night and hearing footsteps behind her when on a quiet street.
    If she looked back and it was a man her anxiety ramped up.

    It was the first time I’d had a woman relate her experience and it really struck home. I asked her what to do as I often walked behind women oblivious to any problem I might cause them. In my head I was a gay man with no sexual interest in women.
    She said that the easiest solution was to cross over the other side of the road and if the woman still appeared anxious then to just slow down and let her get ahead until you both got out of that street.

    It was simple and obvious, and I never felt any sense of being put-upon.

    I have always found men who can object to the idea of the potential rapist strangely obtuse. Do they lack basic empathy? Are other peoples discomforts and fears not worthy of consideration?

  127. jamesfish says

    It’s also kind of odd too, since we do exactly the same thing, or at least spindly guys like me do. When I’m walking home alone late at night I see quite a lot of perfectly innocent men as potential “guys who might mug and/or beat the crap out of me”. The concept is quite common-sense, really.

  128. says

    People who fail to properly understand the “potential rapists” statement are reminiscent of autistic children who fail the Sally-Anne test. It just doesn’t seem to occur to them that it’s not a statement of absolute fact, but a statement about individual perception based on limited information.

  129. secha says

    This is destined to be one of those things I’m never going to understand isn’t it?

    Surely the sentiment ‘we should try to prevent sexual harassment at atheist/skeptic cons’ should be the least controversial statement ever uttered. I don’t see how that goes into some people’s heads and comes out as ‘Feminazis want to round up and blacklist ALL men!!’

    I just don’t see it…

  130. Snoof says

    I just don’t see it…

    People react strongly when their privilege is challenged.

  131. TV200 says

    As well as being a damn good coordinator of a dinner for 20 at a slightly odd, but thoroughly enjoyable Chinese restaurant.

  132. says

    What we’ve learned in the last couple of days is that when speaking about men sexually harassing/assaulting women, some people believe that the victims should be required to produce peer-reviewed scientific evidence before anyone should take their claims seriously. On the other hand, with absolutely no evidence the same people assert that the risk of false claims against men is so great that any attempt to reduce sexual harassment/assault against women is really a way to organize those false claims and enhance their power to damage a man’s God-given right to get a speaker’s fee.

    In addition to the absolute right to collect speakers’ fees, it has been implied if not outright stated that men have an absolute right to attempt to put their penis in any and every vagina that they are near enough to while at conferences, and any attempt to protect women must first preserve that absolute right. There’s almost nothing a man cannot do to a woman, as long as he says “I’m kidding! Don’t be such a frigid b****! We’re cool, right?” after the fourth or fifth time of being told to stop.

    It has been a really educational couple of days. It could take a week to wash the stink off.

  133. Pteryxx says

    Right, because it’d be premature for you to launch your usual cries of censorship *before* you get blocked for trolling.

  134. says

    Yeah, same with me. I used to get along pretty well with her, but now I won’t have anything to do with her, exactly because of stuff like this.

    I also used to be fb friend with Scented Nectar, but I had never much to do with her. Thankfully.

  135. HumanisticJones says

    By all the head-desking gods of the Great Centauri Republic.

    Why is it that anytime someone in dares to comment that “Hey, some guys in the movement are being assholes. Maybe we should all do something about that,” we end up with a Category 5 shitstorm blowing in? It makes me wonder which one of us has the chthonic non-euclidean monitor, because on my screen I’ve read well reasoned arguments, validated concerns, and helpful suggestions to avoid future creepy actions; ERV has apparently read some malign and dark rantings that call for the death of sexuality to which one can only respond by deriding the writer.

  136. Utakata says

    But if you have come to apologise and retract the things you have said, I suspect it would help towards in keeping you commenting privileges here intact. Also not trolling helps too. /shrug

  137. says

    It’s acceptable based on the fact that you have no right to NOT be offended, and I have a right to free speech laughter, even though I was laughing at something you wrote, which could be seen as accidently saying it yourself (and, I know you didn’t mean it that way, obviously). You have every right to have any opinion of me for doing so. That’s where your freedom of speech come in. You can also say anything you want, even if it’s something I find offensive.

    So, I’m totally ok with you thinking I’m a bitch for finding the joke funny and not deleting it.

    A way in which we each have protected speech AND safe space that we have total control of, is shown in how you, ERV, and me, all have our own blogspace homes where we can all speak freely as well as determine for ourselves who is allowed to comment.

    Anyways, to get to my point, you may be mad at the joke, but I have the right to laugh at it too, and the right to leave it up on my site. It’s not something we’ll ever agree on, unless I were to lie to you and say that I no longer think it’s funny or something.

    And while I was hoping to discuss the topic that started it all, and on which my own writing (and my initial comment on your other article) was based, I also respect that you don’t have to address any of it. That is your choice. And since you don’t want me going back to that older topic here, and you consider it derailing, I won’t.

    However, I don’t have much else to say if we are only discussing the joke comments, so I guess I’ll bid everyone adieu here. Thanks for not deleting my comments. That’s a rare thing for me when posting at this domain. :)

  138. Anri says

    “How dare anyone be offended when I use sex-based slurs! Don’t judge me by the language I use!”

    Protip: when you’re using slurs – racial, sexual, or otherwise – the person you’re damaging most is yourself.

    In other words, you need to get a bit better at telling the difference between people fainting and people facepalming.

  139. ButchKitties says

    There’s an appropriate Stephen Fry quote for what she’s doing.

    “It’s a bit like a burglar in court saying ‘you would bring up that burglary and that manslaughter, you never mentioned the fact that I gave my father a birthday present.’”

  140. karmakin says

    My take on it, both these things, is when someone says “Don’t do THAT”, it depends on the definition and perception of the word that in that sentence, doesn’t it?

    Watson and others were defining it very narrowly. Her/Their critics were assuming that she/they were defining it very broadly. It’s the exact same thing here, and that’s why you see the major disconnect. At least that’s my opinion.

    And I’m someone (and a male no less) who actually thinks it SHOULD be defined fairly broadly. Yes, there’s a real loss to people who are unable to be in a more flirtatious environment, but I think that’s countered by the gain in terms of people who are not comfortable at all in such an environment.

  141. Anri says

    (…now checking … now checking…)

    Nope, unless you’ve changed your ‘nym (or I’ve flatly missed it – always possible), you’re not on the OM list.

    I do hope it isn’t some tiresome internet badge of honor, conferred upon a person by their online pals.

    “I don’t care about things like that – which is why I’m using it! And arguing about it! To show I don’t care about things like that!”

    Head -> Desk

  142. karmakin says

    These topics (this and Elevatorgate) are the intersection of two types of privileges that mix together to be some sort of “perfect storm”. You have of course, gender privilege, but there’s also a sort of social privilege towards more outward/aggressive behavior that we have in our society, that some people, both men and women, want to protect because they enjoy it.

  143. Aquaria says

    You don’t have any choice, Jen.

    You’ll have to ban this self-loathing moronic scumbag. She’s just too fucking stupid to get it.

    Fuck you, SN, you lying piece of shit.

    That’s the nicest reply to any of your lying bullshit that you deserve.

  144. HumanisticJones says

    My wife and I were conversing about this last night. I commented that I find it funny in a gallows humor kind of way that in a movement so publicly dedicated to knocking over traditionalist and authoritarian social structures in favor of rational, open ones, that there exists an “Old Boys Club” mentality.

    Not only that, but when called out on this fact (with evidence supporting the claim), said skeptical, rational minds seem to respond with the same kinds of sputtering fallacious arguments that they fight against so valiantly in the world of woo and religion. I’ve seen Ken Ham’s “Same facts, different perspective” line (It’s just your radfem agenda that makes you call out his behavior as wrong!), arguments from ignorance (I’ve never seen any of this harassment, so your evidence is invalid.), ad hominem (the whole of the #mencallmethings threads), well-poisoning language(radfem, feminazi, black-listing), the newly famous Because Shut Up arguments, etc…

    Oh well, listen to me contributing to Deep Rifts© by agreeing with radicalist feminazi man-haters instead of developing a healthy case of cognitive dissonance and a lack of self-awareness.

  145. Lycanthrope says

    ERV (in screenshot):

    Im not saying theyre ugly… If these specters are going after pretty girls, the sister-wives at FfTB should be perfectly fine

    FFS. “I’m not saying they’re ugly, I’m just circumlocuting that they’re ugly.”

  146. microraptor says

    Words fail me as far has how stupid this statement is, but that’s the sort of thing I’d expect from someone who’s a potential child molester.

    Taking offense at that statement means that you understand exactly why being called a potential rapist is insulting.

  147. IslandBrewer says

    With replies to specific comments enabled, this is getting confusing for me, so I’m just going to sum up what this comment thread has provided us. I do this for myself, just to keep track of the direction(s) of the “conversation”.

    [SN post]
    ERV: Jen and Svan are UGLY.
    SN: Yeah, HAHAHA! UGLY!

    [Jen Post]
    Jen: Look everyone, ERV called me ugly. *sigh*

    SN: BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT! You don’t address any of the salient point in my “article”! Therefore you admit it’s true!!!1!

    Is that accurate, thereabouts?

    Jen et al.:We aren’t talking about your “article”.

    SN:So you admit it’s true! Hey! Pay attention to me! I need attention!

    Jen et al.: Your “article” is a bunch of lies, and not worth our time.

    SN: Ha! Show me where I lie. Hey! Pay more attention to me! I crave attention, you radfeminist femtheists! Look! I make new insults! And the ugly comment was JOKE!

    Jen: What do you have against sexual harassment policies?

    SN: I’ll get to that. [subtext: I'll avoid that.]

    Commentariat: I’ll show you where you lie. You said they want to create a blacklist. Relevant quote, “Now, she and some of the other femtheists, want to create a list.” They don’t want to create a list.

    SN: BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT! Jen and Svan admit there’s a list!!1! Pay more attention to me! And tell me where I lie!

    Commentariat: There’s no list.

    SN: BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT! Show me where I lie!

    Commentariat: You said they want to take away menz incomes. Relevant quote,”The femtheists want to surreptitiously take away these men’s speaking income without having to present evidence for their claims,” No, they don’t.

    Jen: No, we don’t. I say the opposite. Read my post.

    SN:BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT! They’ve backed off! Show me where I lied … HEY! Pay attention to me! My page hits have multiplied 100 times over the past 24 hours! Pay more attention!

    Jen: This post is about you and ERV calling me ugly.

    SN: BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT! FREE SPEECH! It was a JOKE! You don’t have the right to not be offended, HA!

  148. No Light says

    But she likes gaming!!! And burping contests!!! And. cars!!!! And beer!!!! She hates pink, and high heels, and make-up!!!

    See, she’s cool, not like other girls. She isn’t an evil, hairy, man-hating feminist either. She’s one of the guys!!!! Fart jokes, and Bronies and porn, oh MY!!!!!

  149. ChasCPeterson says

    Metaphorical???
    Like the Virgin Birth?

    nnnoooo, “metaphorical” as in, uh, a metaphor.
    PZ’s tweet (which I have already agreed was “stupid”) called on people to “fuck [gelato guy] into the ground’. It’s a metaphor, see, because PZ was obviously not calling on people to actually fuck the gelato guy, but rather to boycott his gelato parlor. And also because I’m not sure what it could possibly even mean literally to ‘fuck somebody into the ground’. That’s a metaphor. A stupid one, as I’ve granted.

    Now compare that to:
    [I'm going to paraphrase slightly; please don't gotcha me]
    ‘Hahahaha! She’s too ugly to get sexually harassed! And she has the personality of a’…wait, what was it?…ah: “a rabid she-beast”.
    See the difference?

    Here, let’s try another:
    “If I was a girl, I’d kick her in the cunt. Cunt.”
    That one’s different too, though perhaps a bit more subtly so.

    See what I mean?

    No? *shrug*

  150. Forbidden Snowflake says

    It’s acceptable based on the fact that you have no right to NOT be offended, and I have a right to free speech laughter

    The “free speech” defense is so fucking stupid and fallacious.
    She asked you to justify why what you said was *acceptable* (i.e., should not make you detestable in the opinions of civilized people), not why it was *legal* (i.e., should not result in legal sanctions against you).

  151. The Pint says

    Damn. I could have just skipped all that bullshit slime and gone straight to your summary.

  152. says

    Do you understand the difference between “legal” and “acceptable”?
    You know, calling Obama the N-word is totally legal, do you think it’s acceptable?
    It’s legal for WBC to picket the funerals of soldiers, do you think it’s acceptable bahaviour for people who are not scumbags?

  153. says

    I have written about this before:
    People engagee in many kinds of “schrödinger’s” every day: Schödinger’s criminal when you shield the panel at the ATM, Schrödinger’s vivious dog when approaching a strange dog, Schrödinger’s reckless driver when approaching a crossroads. Only when women engage in Schrödinger’s rapist you get the “sooo unfair, you fucking feminazi”, even though there are more rapists than ATM fraudsters around.

  154. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Just add in a few sentences of SN’s hilariously childish bigotry in her constant desperation to get boys to like her and you’ve got a win.

  155. Franklin says

    Hey SN, if Jen doesn’t have the right not to be offended by your lame insults, that means you don’t have a right not be offended by her legitimate criticisms. If you have an ounce of intellectual integrity and aren’t simply a subpar troll, you have to acknowledge that, yes?

    Also, “no right not to be offended!” is one of the dumbest right-wing talking points, which is saying quite a bit.

  156. IslandBrewer says

    Actually, the “no right not to be offended” came from the liberal response to right-wing claims that ebil liberals were trampling their “freedom of speech” whenever anyone dare criticize them. Attempting to explain that freedom of speech is not synonymous with freedom from criticism, the “no right to not be criticized/offended” came about.

    However, no one here has actually claimed their free speech rights were being trampled, of course, nor has anyone intimated that they have a right not to be offended. Which just makes SN all the more unhinged.

    Of course, THAT’S NOT THE POINT! JEN AND THE FEMTHEISTS HAVE NOT MADE IT TO MY NEW GOALPOST!

  157. says

    The problem with “no right not to be offended” is that by now it has become a long standing strawman.
    It used to mean “I don’t have to engage in self-censorship because it would hurt your feelings”.
    It still meant that the person offended had every right to be upset and the right to react.
    Now it’s used to imply that people like Abbie and Scented Nectar can spew shit but if the victim of their attacks reacts, they are painted as unreasonable, over-emotional oh, and bullies for reacting

  158. Amphigorey says

    Thinking that you are juvenile is not at all the same thing as being offended by what you wrote. I don’t think anyone, including Jen, is actually offended. The tone of her post is exasperated, not angry. No one is offended by a third grader calling them ugly, except perhaps another third grader. You’ll have to move beyond schoolyard taunts if you want to actually cause offense. As of now, you just look like an idiot.

    Nobody is saying that you don’t have a right to agree with ERV that you think Jen is ugly. Congratulations, you have free speech.

    What you’ve accomplished with your free speech is that now a bunch of people think you have the emotional and intellectual maturity of a third grader. You’re not going to get much blog traffic that way.

    You are pathetic. You think of yourself as an iconoclast, but you’re just sad.

  159. carlie says

    You forgot “I’m a lawyer so I’ll sue you for libel if you say anything negative about anything I write”.

    Oh wait, she hasn’t gotten to that part yet this time. Based on all of her previous appearances, I’m sure it’s coming soon.

  160. Robert says

    “No right to not be offended” is meant that you can’t use your offense as a tool to silence someone.

    No one is saying that ERV is somehow prohibited from spewing schoolyard insults or that SN is prohibited from maintaining a place where that kind of thing is looked upon fondly.

    But we are free to point out how juvenile the whole thing is, and how weak their basic premis is.

  161. says

    As an outside observer, watching this beautiful salad of drama, I am left wondering if one must score 30 or higher on the AQ scale to participate.

  162. says

    Why should the elevator-guy go public? I’m quite sure he never intended to make a public statement of any kind; nor did he expect (or want) to generate such a huge public response to anyh of his actions; he just asked a woman for a date (at a bad time and in a clumsy way) and she said no. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I’m assuming he just got on with his life, as we’d expect anyone to do when they try and fail to get laid.

    This particular request for a date is significant because of what OTHER PEOPLE did in response, not because of what he did. And it’s those other people (Dawkins, ERV, the MRAs, etc.) who need to answer for their ridiculous actions. Elevator-guy can’t answer for them. What could he say that would be of interest to us?

  163. Robert says

    And about 8 other comments have pointed this exact thing out. So uh, good for me for pointing it out again.

  164. josh says

    Actually, nothing happened because actually nothing happened. She was asked a polite question and she said no, then the guy left. For most people that wouldn’t be a story worth relating.

  165. Jef says

    SN – Are you confusing comments about maintaining the anonymity of women who complain of harassment with (non-existent) comments about setting up a hidden kangaroo court designed to forever ruin the careers of those accused of harassment?

  166. says

    It’s acceptable based on the fact that you have no right to NOT be offended…

    The standard, lazy excuse for pointless and inexcusable behavior. And it’s not even true: people do indeed have some right to expect to be treated fairly, and not needlessly insulted, by others. Not a Constitutional right, maybe, but a right nonetheless; and no one has the moral authority to circumscribe other people’s right not to be offended.

    That lame excuse pretty much clinches it: SN is an overgrown baby, and she’s up way past her bedtime.

  167. says

    You’re already participating. You’re fighting for the noble cause of desperately trying to assert your superiority, by declaring the whole thing to be beneath you.

  168. Rumtopf says

    A polite question, eh?
    To summarise(yet-a-fucking-gain): Asking someone for sex; after hearing them specifically say during the days conversation that they really do not enjoy being propositioned like that, at 4am after they have said they are tired and going to bed, in an enclosed space. That doesn’t seem very polite to me, in fact, it’s kinda been thoroughly established.

    You can’t honestly say nothing happened. Of course it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, nobody ever said it was, but it was something. Hence the fairly unremarkable though reasonable suggestion of “guys, don’t do that”. It should have been a no-brainer but clearly the community has some ways to go.

  169. Stu says

    Awesome. Now all we need is for Orac and Deltoid to move off of SB and I can ignore it completely.

  170. says

    Alas, I think as a discussion grows longer, the probability of anything else being mentioned grows higher.

    But certainly it seems higher on the list than one would expect or care.

    Sympathies, Jen.

  171. says

    Yeah, it is the same thing here. There’s a handful of names floating around, who are said to be guilty of everything from relatively minor staring issues to using the conferences and their position to “pick up chicks” to groping and pressuring people to have sex. The discussion started out with “how do we go about getting those people to quit and making conferences safe from harassment/assault, without unfairly condemning people who might be innocent or would knock it off if given a chance and some consequences.”

    The slime pit idiots twisted a very specific and cautious discussion into “feminazis want to slander all men everywhere with THE BLACKLIST that will be used to condemn targeted men without evidence or recourse” which is both an overly broad reading, as well as being incredibly inaccurate.

    Of course, we are talking about the Pit here… if Rebecca Watson posted that it is a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky, Abbie Smith would accuse her of being a stupid smelly pro-drought cow. If Jen McCreight brought us world peace, the Pit would spend a day talking about her hair and weight before attacking her for putting the troops out of work. It starts with an incoherent, irrational rage… then they just twist everything around until they feel justified in their hate.

  172. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Its kind of an admission if you think about it. What Scented Nectar said was so acceptable that she can’t even be sued or incarcerated for it.

    Stay classy, Slimepit folks!

  173. microraptor says

    There’s a difference between being aware of a risk potential and automatically assuming that the only thing stopping someone from committing a heinous assault is lack of opportunity.

    The original incident last year was a case of the former. The statement I replied to indicated the latter.

  174. MartinM says

    The original incident last year was a case of the former. The statement I replied to indicated the latter.

    No, it didn’t.

  175. julian says

    @Giliell

    Exactly. I will not allow my nephew to be out of my sight when I am caring for him in large part because anyone could be a child rapist up to and including people I know. I thought every child care taker had something like that in mind.

  176. Guesser says

    Someone old me the main name on the “list of speakers to avoid” was Richard Dawkins.

    Am i rite?

  177. Mattir says

    I would rather not know the names of the people on The List™. Why don’t we simply have a policy that tells the people on The List™ that they should cut it out?

  178. Eric O says

    Wow.

    I remember ERV from of a couple years ago. I didn’t really read her blog much, but I’d check it out from time to time and generally found it entertaining.

    Now I can’t muster up any feelings besides contempt for her. I hate it when people that I used to respect turn out to be utter assholes.

  179. josh says

    Okay, I know this is old, scorched ground so forgive me for replying but I didn’t introduce the topic. You’ve constructed your own, bullet-pointed version of the story which has entered the mythology on one side in order to assign maximum guilt to the intrepid EG. RW was not asked for sex, she was asked if she wanted to have coffee and discuss things. That could be a potential lead in to sex but it is a polite way to ask and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. We don’t know what EG did or did not hear from RW during the day, we don’t know if he attended her talk or payed attention if he did, that was never clear in any corroborated version of the story I’ve seen. If he did, then opening with “Don’t take this the wrong way…” suggests he was specifically trying to convey that he wasn’t propositioning her. At the bar (and again, this was never clear, was EG talking to her there? was he part of a general group with her but they didn’t specifically talk to each other much? Was he part of the crowd at the bar but not her group? Again, we don’t actually know what he heard her say.) But anyway, she says ‘it’s late, I’m tired’ which is a polite way to excuse yourself, not an assertion that anyone who tries to change your mind is disrespecting you. If someone at the table had said, ‘No, come on, stay a bit longer, the night is young.’ no one would accuse them of disrespecting women. So she gets up, EG takes this opportunity ( or maybe he sees her in the hall on the way to the elevator, or is walking back to his room by a similar route, it was not clear in the account we got) to ask her his question, which, again is a reasonably polite way to do it, because if he actually is thinking of sex, or if anyone in the general crowd might take it that way, it’s kind of awkward to ask someone to come back to your room in the middle of a general conversation, so you wait until you have a more private moment, i.e. when she got up. Every indoor room is an enclosed space, there is no evidence that EG ‘trapped’ RW there as became standard lore for many commenters.

    So yes, it’s all pretty polite. The worst-case scenario is that EG tried to politely change RWs mind when she thought she had been pretty clear already, but he immediately took no for an answer. The difference between that and nothing is academic in my opinion.

    So RW brings it up in a commentary on the conference and says “guys, don’t do that.” Which is pretty mild if you read it as “guys [please], don’t do that [to me]“, but can come off as pretty condescending as a general imperative and with her tone. If she had stuck to ‘I was feeling a little nervous, in future I’d ask that people just don’t approach me under those circumstances’, I don’t think anything would have come of it. But some people pointed out that reasonable people have different standards and that, in their view there was nothing to be uncomfortable about, or, moreover, that just because one person is annoyed doesn’t mean another person is in the wrong. Well, the shitstorm blew up pretty fast from there as you know. RW is a man-hating feminazi and EG is a rape-enabler who gets his jollies off of terrorizing women. Kudos all around.

  180. Tomppa says

    Scented nectar actually has a point in her blog. EVR’s comments and Scented nectar’s responses are stupid – I’m not even going there. Grow up and try to behave like adults.

    If hearsay and rumors can alienate some speakers in the way they have no way to defend themselves – it’s wrong.

    This kind of situation could be abused easily. If a certain women learn that all they have to do is to make a little lies about some malespeakers they don’t like: “Voila – no invites anymore!”

    My advises to women how want to avoid creepy male speakers – I’m quite sure they exist too.

    1. Be careful, don’t be alone in strange countries and cities, with strange people.

    2. Make a public and noisy scene if something inappropriate happens. You have a right to express refusal a LOUD if needed, don’t be scared about it.

    3. You are allowed to defend yourself physically too…

    4. A lot of males will try to make advances if you are drunk, flirty and dress slutty. Yes I said that… It’s still wrong if men try to use the situation in advance but still – reality exists – men are pigs (myself included) and I have learned that a lot of women(not all) express their willingness to closer contact and possibly sex by dressing provocatively. Intentionally or just experiencing their sexuality – I don’t know maybe both. I had no problems because I know my limits accept “NO” for an answer.

    Men don’t have exactly the same problem but I’m quite sure that more drunk men are in a strange place the more problems they will call with your behavior. Beating up, robbery, etc.

    5. I approve strict anti-harassment policy – BUT accused persons must have right to be heard too. That’s how we deal these things in Finland and I have been involved one case where exchange-student harassed many finnish female students. I was there defusing the situation with teachers, students and a dean of our department.

  181. julian says

    RW is a man-hating feminazi and EG is a rape-enabler who gets his jollies off of terrorizing women.

    No one has said those things about EG. At least no one at FtB or (from what I recall) at Skepchick. At worst EG was used as an example of Schrodinger’s Rapist (and until you’re willing to object to Schrodinger’s Child Molester, Identity Thief and Mugger I’m not listening to complaints about that) and it has been frequently emphasized and reemphasized by Watson, Zvan, hell just about each of those wretched feminazi’s Team EG hates that they are not saying those things about EG.

    it’s kind of awkward to ask someone to come back to your room in the middle of a general conversation,

    Because it’s rude. Sexual propsitions are rude by there very nature until an some level of familiarity is established. Would you ask a stranger to flash you? Better yet, would you invite yourself to help a stranger change clothes? No. Why would a sexual proposition in the middle of the night with someone who’s repeatedly said (on her blog and elsewhere) she resents people who do those things then be ok?

  182. says

    Don’t forget, he also managed to get in an ableist gibe mocking autism-spectrum people.

    Stay classy, Chris Fisher!

  183. QueQuoiHuh says

    josh thinks he has the right to tell RW how to feel in a given situation… lol

  184. julian says

    Quick comment on ERV trying to berate Jen McCreight for having a life outside work.

    I’ve seen a similar attitude among SNCO’s I’ve worked with. Invariably it’s the one’s obsessed with appearance (ie looking busy), the one’s who feel it’s more important to “play the game” than get real work done, and who’ll yell and shout about the importance of mission completion without ever contributing.

    There’s also a strong sense of entitlement among these people. They feel it’s wrong for those beneath them to enjoy a flexible schedule or time outside of work. They resent it to the point where they’ll belittle those people as skaters looking to get out of work regardless of how proficient or competent that person is.

    I’m not diagnosing ERV. I’m not saying she’s the same as the idiots I’ve had to work for. I’m saying she has enough in common with them for me to view her with the same contempt as I view them. Except, of course, none of them objected to policies against sexual harassment or keeping cases confidential.

    So I guess I oughtta cut them some slack.

  185. kex says

    So to summarize your views:

    1. Women should never ever travel if they are alone. I they are alone they absolutely should expect to be sexually harassed. This is a small price to pay so that no man gets a bad reputation.

    2. No matter how many different stories from different women there are about certain speakers they are crap evidence because women lie. Probably women should never ever testify in court either, because they are liars. No one is capable of weighting evidence so they will discredit any speaker on a whim.

    3. I graciously allow you to be noisy in public. This will help. There will be no negative consequences if a woman raises her voice; this thread absolutely proves that no one will ever call her a liar or say that she is probably lying because she is too ugly to be harassed.

    4. I am a horrible person who thinks that is totally ok to sexually abuse women if they are dressed in certain ways or talk to men in ways that I deem to be flirty. All men who have no desire to abuse women do not exist or are liars. Because men are pigs they absolutely get to do horrible things. We should not punish them for it, but women should stop being sluts. Also if someone kept beating up men at atheist conventions I would totally tell those men not to be pussies.

    5 I once solved an anti-harassment case by telling women not to be bitches and put some clothes on.

    Is that about right?

    I don’t know what is worst, that people like you exist or that you actually think that you are a good person.

  186. Forbidden Snowflake says

    If he did, then opening with “Don’t take this the wrong way…” suggests he was specifically trying to convey that he wasn’t propositioning her.

    Opening with “Don’t take this the wrong way” suggests that he, unlike you apparently, realizes that an offer of coffee at someone’s room at night is reasonably interpreted as an offer of sex.

  187. Guesser says

    The people with the list seem unsure of what they plan to do.

    I raised an eyebrow when I heard about Mr. Pluto Killer.

  188. Bleeder says

    regarding #4, Toiletpaper, you highlight your own problem in one simple phrase: “dressing provocatively.”

    Ignoring for a moment your is/ought problem regarding men’s reaction to certain styles of dress (and even the “is” part is disputable), the very notion that you identify a certain style of dress as “provocative” is evidence of you projecting your own crap onto other people. Get over whatever sex, nudity, and body hang-ups you have. Every woman at the con could be stark naked and that would not be an invitation nor an excuse for unwanted advances or intimidation.

  189. says

    I have to agree with Jen and Stephanie: Scented Nectar’s post bore essentially no relation to the proposals that were being made. It reads like a complete invention when compared with what Jen and Stephanie actually wrote, which has been thoughtful and carefully balanced. And the personal insults – not just childish and cruel but really a form of bullying, in my view – are totally despicable. I’m disgusted.

  190. petrander says

    Honestly I’m always more befuddled when people attack me by calling me pretty or sexy, since it’s a concept I’m still not totally used to.

    Yes, I can still remember your reaction to Steve Colbert calling you “smokin’ hot”. :-)

    But if you don’t believe him, take it from me: You definitely are in the danger zone… URP! What am I saying!? :-S

  191. Jef says

    If hearsay and rumors can alienate some speakers in the way they have no way to defend themselves – it’s wrong.

    Pretty much everyone who has blogged about this on FTB is calling for an agreed and enforced set of rules on harassment. In fact, what you’re describing here more closely matches the current situation (except that no men have been made to suffer as a result of behind the scenes story sharing).

    As for your points – 1-3 are putting the onus on the woman to defend herself when she may not be able to for various reasons. #4 is just slut shaming and victim blaming and #5 is a strawman. A few people have (rightly) raised the need to maintain the anonymity of anyone who comes forward with a complaint but this is not the same as instantly condemning and publicly shaming someone accused of harassment.

  192. says

    It’s amazing how the “Team elevator guy” always excuses him by saying “you can’t know if he heard her at the bar and whether he listened to her talk”, but never make the obvious step to call him a liar for claiming that he finds her talks interesting and wanted to talk some more.
    Sorry, folks, it’s a catch 22:
    Either he heard her, in which case he knowingly and willingly transgressed the boundaries she’d set up, or he didn’t hear her, in which case he was lying and obviously not interested in “coffee (as in hot beverage, the stuff they served at the bar they were just leaving) and chit chat”

  193. says

    Yep, thtat’s called caution.
    I’ve written something about this, too:
    “7.) Yes, you’re a stranger
    No, of course you’re not one of those strangers who give kids candy and then want to do evil things. You’re only one of those other strangers who just give kids candy. Honestly, how are the kids supposed to know that, or for that matter, how am I supposed to know that? Because the bad kind of strangers and the good kind of strangers look exactly alike until the point when they don’t. Don’t make me worry about what kind you belong to. And please accept that my children will err on the side of safety.

  194. dandy_lion says

    I want to add my appreciation too. I’m a lurker, normally, and just recently started reading Jen and some others here at FTB. Considering whats been going down, I’m immensely glad that I found them before ERV, because if I had found ERV first, I doubt I would be even remotely involved with this movement. She would have made me give up hope for anything atheist/humanist/feminist because of comments like this. So yeah, thanks Jen!!

  195. says

    She actually inspired me to blog about that, and my own past behavior towards women before really getting into feminism. There is very little a woman can do in this culture to get approval from people who count (men) without crapping on women as a group. And man, do you get approval for crapping on women. You get to be the token that proves your guy friends aren’t sexist and the exception to the rule that women are shitty and dumb.

    I theorize that the illusion shatters once one is subjected to some really hardcore sexism and the dudes that used to cheer now say how uncool you’ve become because you didn’t think it was okay that some guy groped you or harassed you at work (or whatever). It is a matter of time. I don’t know any woman who has managed to avoid sexism completely.

  196. says

    Me2. I comment seldom, I’m not a part of the organized atheist community, and except for Jen herself I wasn’t even aware of the existence of any of the principals (is that the right one? I can never remember) here. And thus this whole thing is too inside-baseball for me to comment substantively.

    But, Jen, I have tremendous respect for your ability to treat this kind of douchnozzlery with the contempt it deserves and not let it divert you from the fun you obviously have doing the important work you’re doing.

  197. says

    Under what name? I was only active on facebook many years ago. I closed the account for quite a few years since I wasn’t using it. I recently reopened it so as to see links that went to FB where I needed to be signed in. I don’t actually use my page though, the way most people do.

    I think there were only 14 people I had on there as friends from years ago, but I thought most were from the various 3d communities I was in. Did I know you from an atheist forum? I might have been starting to hang out at some of those around that time too.

  198. says

    I have a shirt that I really like that has a picture of two birds on a branch with the word “swallows” underneath. I like it because I think it’s funny. Every time I step out in that shirt I have to worry about guys thinking it’s an advertisement for sexual services, an invitation to come flirt with me, or a desperate attempt to prove that I’m a “cool girl.” I should just be able to put on a shirt that I like without weighing how much I want to deal with the unwanted advances of men whose own hang ups lead them to believe I’m projecting something I’m not.

  199. Tomppa says

    So to summarize your views:
    No. More like twisting and seeing things as black and white without any attempt to understand what I wrote.

    1. Women should never ever travel if they are alone. I they are alone they absolutely should expect to be sexually harassed. This is a small price to pay so that no man gets a bad reputation.
    You missed the first few words from my sentence. They were: “Be careful”. and I don’t remember saying at any point that women cannot travel anywhere alone. They can do it, but just like for men, all places in the world are not safe if you are alone. Not in your home country not in mine.

    2. No matter how many different stories from different women there are about certain speakers they are crap evidence because women lie. Probably women should never ever testify in court either, because they are liars. No one is capable of weighting evidence so they will discredit any speaker on a whim.
    Pathetic strawman argument. Women CAN lie just like men and if there is a harassment system based on just hearsay and rumors – it’s a problem no matter who is the harassing one and who has been harassed.

    I agree you at one point, if many people report harassment independently and they all point to a single person, that’s different and those reports should be taken seriously. Accused person still should be able to defense him/herself.

    3. I graciously allow you to be noisy in public. This will help. There will be no negative consequences if a woman raises her voice; this thread absolutely proves that no one will ever call her a liar or say that she is probably lying because she is too ugly to be harassed.

    Well if you like to be a sockpuppet and enjoy other people throwing you around in life – sure go ahead. Don’t make a scene, don’t defend yourself and whine about it on internet. Sometimes you just have to make a stand. People will call you a liar and creepy and misogynist or ugly or whatever. That’s the thing you have to deal with almost always when you disagree with someone.

    And for a note: I fully support Jen’s posting and point of view about this matter and also I fully support Rebecca’s Watson’s position on last summer’s flamewar.

    4. I am a horrible person who thinks that is totally ok to sexually abuse women if they are dressed in certain ways or talk to men in ways that I deem to be flirty.
    My memory must really fail me again because I don’t remember say anything like this. Strawman.

    All men who have no desire to abuse women do not exist or are liars.
    Strawman again.

    Because men are pigs they absolutely get to do horrible things.
    No again. Calling men pigs usually refer them for being horny. It has nothing to do about them getting to do horrible things.

    We should not punish them for it, but women should stop being sluts.
    Being a slut and dressing slutty are two different things. Sadly not all can make a difference between those two.

    Also if someone kept beating up men at atheist conventions I would totally tell those men not to be pussies.
    Yeah… nice to see you missed the point again. So tell me, do you generally think that it’s wise for men get drunk as hell on strange country and in a strange part of the city. In my opinion that’s just fucking stupid and those guys are not behaving smart by ignoring the reality.

    5 I once solved an anti-harassment case by telling women not to be bitches and put some clothes on.
    Pay attention, try again and maybe you will figure it out what I actually wrote.

    I don’t know what is worst, that people like you exist or that you actually think that you are a good person.

    Judging a person based on ONE blogpost and apparently you can also read minds because you are implying to know how I feel about myself.

  200. Tomppa says

    Yeah… I also make misogynist jokes sometimes. That must mean I hate the whole humankind and I am Anders Breivik + Hitler + Joseph Fritz together multiplied by thousandfold.

    Your humorless black-white worldview has also been noted.

  201. Tomppa says

    regarding #4, Toiletpaper, you highlight your own problem in one simple phrase: “dressing provocatively.” Ignoring for a moment your is/ought problem regarding men’s reaction to certain styles of dress (and even the “is” part is disputable), –
    I wasn’t aware that women dressing freely are somekind of a problem to me. Can you also read minds?

    –the very notion that you identify a certain style of dress as “provocative” is evidence of you projecting your own crap onto other people.
    No. It’s evidence and fact that men feel more aroused around naked women than a women wearing a clothbags. How is this fact of the natural world “projecting crap onto other people”?
    You can do a little research and ask from your male friends how they masturbate – watching naked women or women wearing burkhas.

    Get over whatever sex, nudity, and body hang-ups you have.
    Well we Finns attend a lot of nude mixed-gender saunas so I really don’t have any problems with nudity.

    Every woman at the con could be stark naked and that would not be an invitation nor an excuse for unwanted advances or intimidation.
    No you could not. Most countries have laws against public nudity and you would a subject of intimidation. Get dressed or spend a day in jail and pay fines.

  202. Tomppa says

    Souds like a funny shirt :) but I dont think it matters.

    Guys will try to flirt when girls have at least a pulse and they breathe.

  203. Pteryxx says

    Wow, you’re really an idiot. Nudist communities have rules against sexual harassment. Why? Because they want their attendees to feel comfortable, have a good time, and COME BACK. You’re more concerned about making sure the skeevy meatmarket stays open. Your priorities are noted.

  204. says

    No. It’s evidence and fact that men feel more aroused around naked women than a women wearing a clothbags.

    Nothing spells male misogynist privilege better than the assumption that whatever women do, they do it because of you.
    Your arousal is your thing.
    Enjoy it, go off and have a wank.
    How I dress and style is my thing and believe me, whatever I do in that respect, whatever factors I consider in making my decision, your penis does not feature.

  205. says

    Funny how three posts above you claimed that it was highly important what we wear and what not. First you say we should wear clothbags instead of tanktops and now you say that guys will try to flirt even if we do wear them.
    Be at least a bit more consistent in your bullshit.

  206. says

    when women hyphenate their names upon marriage it is a compromise between keeping her name and taking someone elses, but people who are steeped in patriarchy see it as somehow offensive and anti-male to deviate even a little from such a prescription.

    Deciding to perhaps believe women who say they have been harassed (maybe even when a man says they weren’t) is seen as a witch hunt to people who are so steeped in male privilege that they cannot objectively think about the fairness of such a policy.

    That is the way I see this, jen’s idea for a reporting system puts some of the onus on victims to name and report things to others without any gaurantee of action. It lets men harass a certain amount before anything happens to them. I don’t think a man who claimed threats of violence from another speaker would ever be second guessed or called crazy for wanting *something* in place to address such a reality in the future. The underlying assumption here is that men are worth beleiving, and women are not. We all have our biases, and unfortunately a lot of women take on the sexist biases of patriarchy. Without dismantling these biases (which are at their root irrational behaviors, not fit for skeptics or freethinkers) there is little actual conversation to be had.

  207. ReginaAstrum says

    Uh Nectar you know that you are not entitled to readership right?

    If you want people to read your actual blog posts, write something they want to read and build your own following to do so. No one is required to read your drivel or respond and this topic was focusing on the fact that you are a childish snot who can’t make an argument without resorting to stupid ad hominem attacks.

    The false dichotomy you present “if you ignored me you must not be able to argue my point” is logical fallacy and self delusion of the highest order. If a tree falls in the woods it still makes a sound and if a blog post is stupid and no one bothers to critique it it’s still stupid.

    But I did read your blog post (article implies a level of professionalism and sponsored publication that this doggerel does not have) and you deliberately misrepresent the statements made in the posts you claim to be responding to and when pressed you claim this giant offline conspiracy of “original comments” for which you have no citation. If you can’t be bothered to actually read what you are responding to why should anyone read your writing?

  208. HumanisticJones says

    1. Be careful, don’t be alone in strange countries and cities, with strange people.

    This may be a solution to a symptom but not the cause. The problem is that there exists a culture within these conventions that has allowed predetory/skeevy behavior to arise. The solution isn’t “women travelling in packs to avoid danger” it’s “change the culture so that the danger is not there”. Granted that’s a larger problem to solve, but you don’t do the wrong thing just because the right thing is difficult.

    2. Make a public and noisy scene if something inappropriate happens. You have a right to express refusal a LOUD if needed, don’t be scared about it.

    3. You are allowed to defend yourself physically too…

    Once again, symptomatic solutions. And what makes you think women don’t already do these things? I’ve worked convention security for many years and we’ve dealt with a few cases of harassment or outright assault. The tips you’re giving here, really wouldn’t have prevented the issues we’ve seen and personally I find it a bit patronizing that you think women need to be told to defend themselves against an attacker. Hate to point out the dark truth, but if you’ve been followed into a stairwell, or a loud dark concert, making noise isn’t really a big help.

    4. A lot of males will try to make advances if you are drunk, flirty and dress slutty. Yes I said that… It’s still wrong if men try to use the situation in advance but still – reality exists – men are pigs (myself included) and I have learned that a lot of women(not all) express their willingness to closer contact and possibly sex by dressing provocatively. Intentionally or just experiencing their sexuality – I don’t know maybe both. I had no problems because I know my limits accept “NO” for an answer.

    Men don’t have exactly the same problem but I’m quite sure that more drunk men are in a strange place the more problems they will call with your behavior. Beating up, robbery, etc.

    “Look at how she’s dressed, bitch was asking for it!” Seriously, everything you’ve said in that one, whether you even realize it or not, has boiled down to “she was asking for it”. If I punch you in the throat, were you asking for it because you weren’t wearing a neck guard? I honestly hope you never go to a fetish convention. I’ve been to those, sat next to a nudist during a lecture. So to summarize, at a fetish con, in a talk about sex, next to a naked woman. Guess how much consent that gives a person to go after her, NONE! If someone had touched that woman against her wishes, it doesn’t matter how naked and surrounded by sexually charged situations she was. If she doesn’t consent, you and only you are the one at fault. Oh and nice job projecting there (all men are pigs), doesn’t really help your case.

    5. I approve strict anti-harassment policy – BUT accused persons must have right to be heard too. That’s how we deal these things in Finland and I have been involved one case where exchange-student harassed many finnish female students. I was there defusing the situation with teachers, students and a dean of our department.

    Agreed, but I’d change your wording (I approve strict anti-harassment policy AND accused persons must have right to be heard). After the situation has been broken up. After both parties have been moved to separate, private locations. Once parties have had a chance to calm down, yeah, then we hear both side. I’ve actually dealt with one (since 2001, one) case where the accusation of sexual assault was a false one. One in eleven years of working convention security. So yeah, it makes sense that a comprehensive con policy should include some level of arbitration, but it’s not enough of a problem to warrant a top 5 spot on a list of suggestions.

  209. says

    Wait wait wait. You are discussing a risk of false accusations in a movement where minor complaints of sexual harassment result in even more harassment, even years later like in rebecca watson’s case? Do you think women are so stupid as to not recognize the risk involved in discussing harassment after seeing that happen? I was aware of the risk of it from my personal and professional life, because that is how it usually works in any group. The victims are crapped on for talking and ultimately the dude denying anything happened is taken way more seriously than a woman saying it did. Women aren’t going to be taken seriously overnight upon a harassment policy being put in place, and I don’t doubt women will be scared to report even with the policy. It isn’t radical and it hardly puts men at risk in such a context.

    I guess any racism in the movement should be ignored too because lard knows those uppity brown people might make something up out of spite! That is, after all, *way* more likely than a white person saying something racist, eh? or a straight person saying something anti-gay! and on and on.

  210. says

    “I honestly hope you never go to a fetish convention. I’ve been to those, sat next to a nudist during a lecture. So to summarize, at a fetish con, in a talk about sex, next to a naked woman. Guess how much consent that gives a person to go after her, NONE! If someone had touched that woman against her wishes, it doesn’t matter how naked and surrounded by sexually charged situations she was.”

    That was the exact situation that popped into my head, as well. Or hell, even a play party or dungeon, where the implication that people are there to participate in scenes or hookups. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a bar wearing a low-cut top or tied nude to a cross with a spreader bar between your ankles, consent is still required.

  211. Tomppa says

    Please enlighten me with english language… Nudist communities and “cons” are the same thing right?

  212. says

    “Consistency of his (bull)shit” made me giggle. Is it runny, or dry, or runny with chunks in it?

    … I should probably have a lay-down.

  213. HumanisticJones says

    I think something like that was covered in a post over at WWJTD (not necessarily in a dungeon scene context but it still applies). Just because someone else got to touch, doesn’t mean you do as well. But, this is why the local dungeon has to be explicit in its rules about not inviting your self into another person’s scene; some people just don’t get it.

  214. Tomppa says

    Can you please read what I actually wrote instead of stuffing words in my mouth I have never said…

    “Funny how three posts above you claimed that it was highly important what we wear and what not.”
    - Mostly it’s not, I could not care less how you generally dress yourself.

    It’s important in certain circumstances. You simply cannot deny that fact that sometimes dressing too revealing is a dangerous thing just like drinking too much in bad place is a dangerous thing, or driving too fast. I’m fully aware that dressing slutty is not an excuse to rape women but sadly the world is not perfect.

    You guys seem to have a delusions that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want and where ever you want. This is not the case. Not even in western democracies.

    Be careful please. That’s all I’m saying.

    “First you say we should wear clothbags instead of tanktops –”
    Where did I said that? Nowhere… stop lying.

    ” — and now you say that guys will try to flirt even if we do wear them.
    Be at least a bit more consistent in your bullshit.”

    I try to make this more clear to you, so you can understand something about men.

    What is the most erotic sight for a heterosexual male? (in descending order)

    1. Naked woman in bed with her legs open and asking for sex
    2. Naked woman flirting
    3. Woman wearing skimpy bikinis and flirting
    4. Woman wearing skimpy
    5. Woman wearing tank tops and shorts + flirting
    6. Woman wearing tank tops and shorts
    7. …
    564. Woman wearing burkhas and covering their faces (all natural signals are blocked)
    565. Dead woman. (extreme minority of guys actually prefer these)

    My point is that men usually connect revealing clothing and possibility of sex together. You cannot change this fact. I claim based on my personal subjective observations that amount of flirting girls get in general is related how girls dress, more revealing = more flirting.

  215. says

    Holy shit Tonka-Truck, you’re a fucking moron.

    You guys seem to have a delusions that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want and where ever you want. This is not the case. Not even in western democracies.

    No, we seem to have the perfectly reasonable expectation that the burden of not assaulting women should fall on the men to NOT ASSAULT WOMEN, rather than focus on women being better at avoiding assaults. Here’s an idea: we’re going to follow you and your friends and family around with paintball guns and randomly shoot at you as you go about your day-to-day. Is your first question to yourself going to be “how can we dress to avoid the bruising of the paintballs and not track paint into the house?” or “I wonder if there’s a gym that has specialized paintball dodging classes we can take?” Or is your first question going to be “why are they doing this, and how do we make them stop?”

    You’re victim blaming, over and over again. Fucking stop it.

  216. julian says

    Guys will try to flirt when girls have at least a pulse and they breathe.

    Largely owing to people like you telling them it’s ok and that there’s nothing they can do about it. We men are apparently hardwired to be predatory and sexually harass strange women.

  217. says

    Well, if you weren’t proud of your fucking hipster misogyny you wouldn’t admit to making misogynist jokes as if that were a badge of honour, as if it didn’t mean that there’s nothing wrong with you.
    No, you might not be Hitler, but that doesn’t make you good. you’re not even benign, you’Re just another toxic, victim-blaming, the poor menz can’t control themselves misogynist rape-apologist.

  218. Pteryxx says

    Tommpa:

    You simply cannot deny that fact that sometimes dressing too revealing is a dangerous thing …

    Dangerous, because… uh, the bikini halter might leap out and choke someone? Are short skirts a fire hazard? Will stockings produce swarms of killer bees?

    Or are these things only blamed for being dangerous after another human being attacks someone and needs an excuse?

    I’m fully aware that dressing slutty is not an excuse to rape women…

    Are you now.

    but sadly the world is not perfect.

    When “the world” rapes a woman, then try using that excuse. Nobody just spontaneously becomes raped, like atoms decaying. A rape happens because A RAPIST RAPED SOMEONE.

  219. Pteryxx says

    Oh, and Tomppa:

    564. Woman wearing burkhas and covering their faces (all natural signals are blocked)

    That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Women wearing burquas get sexually harassed, called sluts, raped and worse ALL THE DAMN TIME.

    565. Dead woman. (extreme minority of guys actually prefer these)

    …Go the frick away that you even think this is an argument. See my reply to your 564, specifically “and worse”.

  220. says

    You must be talking about the cut and paste that I’ve been doing whenever anyone denies that there was a list at first, before the talk changed to the (hopefully fairer) harassment policies.

    Here’s that cut and paste of the quotes, followed by the citation you’re requesting:

    So many people are denying what they said in their first articles, now that they’ve done a fast re-do/change of topic to harassment rules, done in their next articles. The first articles admitted to the list:
    At the links in my article above, McCreight says “But women in the movement had formed an unofficial underground network of knowledge, making sure to warn people about who to avoid.” and “After I made my comment, dozens of people kept asking me for the names on The List (which I didn’t give – see my previous points).” Over at Zvan’s, she also talks about it “When organizers stop inviting some of the people on this list, unless sexism is a primary concern for donors, unless experiences are allowed to be made public, organizers get overruled.”

    Note where I say “At the links in my article”? Those go directly to where the quotes are from. Putting more than one link into this comment might trigger auto-moderation, so just go to my article (Jen links to it at the top of this page), then go to the top of my article. The links near the top, that go to this blog and Zvan’s blog are the ones I got the quotes directly from. Hopefully this will prove to you that they really said what I quoted them as saying, which I think is what you are questioning here. If I’ve got that wrong, let me know.

  221. Tomppa says

    Hey damn this is new. A person who can answer with polite attitude and without namecalling. :)

    This may be a solution to a symptom but not the cause. The problem is that there exists a culture within these conventions that has allowed predetory/skeevy behavior to arise. The solution isn’t “women travelling in packs to avoid danger” it’s “change the culture so that the danger is not there”. Granted that’s a larger problem to solve, but you don’t do the wrong thing just because the right thing is difficult.
    I would argue that changing the culture takes a long time. Years and decades but it should be done like you said. Traveling in packs and cultural change are not mutually exclusive things and usually short time changes are needed to achieve a larger goal.

    Once again, symptomatic solutions. And what makes you think women don’t already do these things? I’ve worked convention security for many years and we’ve dealt with a few cases of harassment or outright assault.
    Im my eyes women here seem to be scared about defending themselves. Maybe I’m wrong. I haven’t really seen any open assaults or harassments.

    The tips you’re giving here, really wouldn’t have prevented the issues we’ve seen and personally I find it a bit patronizing that you think women need to be told to defend themselves against an attacker.
    Well one writer mentioned that if they do that people will call them liars, sluts and ugly.

    Hate to point out the dark truth, but if you’ve been followed into a stairwell, or a loud dark concert, making noise isn’t really a big help.
    No it is not. But now we are again at the point what I was making. Travel in packs or avoid dangerous places, avoid making yourself a target.

    If you have first hand extensive security background I would like hear your recommendations about dark stairwells or places like this. I have only worked as a doorman and backstage security guard.

    “Look at how she’s dressed, bitch was asking for it!”
    I did not say that. True – there are idiots who think that “bitches” are asking it – but I’m not one of them and think it’s totally twisted way of thinking.

    In my opinion freethinker community is debating about this heavily because there is a a lot of misogynist comments on internet sites made by males. Maybe it has been first a simple joking but it has escalated to toxic levels. I approve feminist point of view and response but people could also calm down and maybe try to discuss this rationally and civilized manner instead of stupid hatemongering when someone say a different opinion.

    You are not better than those assholes who attacked Rebecca Watson at first place if this is best you can do in a discussion.

    Seriously, everything you’ve said in that one, whether you even realize it or not, has boiled down to “she was asking for it”. If I punch you in the throat, were you asking for it because you weren’t wearing a neck guard? I honestly hope you never go to a fetish convention.
    I’m not if there is a risk getting a punch in the throat :) Crazy people… Seriously, I generally avoid places if there is a risk of random beating – not many but they do exist. Why would I want to go there?

    I’ve been to those, sat next to a nudist during a lecture. So to summarize, at a fetish con, in a talk about sex, next to a naked woman. Guess how much consent that gives a person to go after her, NONE!
    True.

    In my understanding most commons scenario in rapes happen when a girl is with a familiar guy, they have spend a night in bar, wearing revealing clothes, heavily drunk and maybe making out a bit and asks a guy to sleep in her place. Then the girl passes out and guy thinks: “Hmm why not, the bitch was asking for it.” It’ still wrong… but it’s tempting to a lot of men. It’s statistically proven to be the most common raping case. Ask yourself if a woman can do something differently. She can.

    If someone had touched that woman against her wishes, it doesn’t matter how naked and surrounded by sexually charged situations she was. If she doesn’t consent, you and only you are the one at fault.

    Oh and nice job projecting there (all men are pigs), doesn’t really help your case.
    Common social statement: Men are pigs = men are horny. I’m quite sure you didn’t hear it the first time now.

    Agreed, but I’d change your wording (I approve strict anti-harassment policy AND accused persons must have right to be heard). After the situation has been broken up. After both parties have been moved to separate, private locations. Once parties have had a chance to calm down, yeah, then we hear both side.
    Sounds good.

    I’ve actually dealt with one (since 2001, one) case where the accusation of sexual assault was a false one. One in eleven years of working convention security. So yeah, it makes sense that a comprehensive con policy should include some level of arbitration, but it’s not enough of a problem to warrant a top 5 spot on a list of suggestions.
    In Finland statistically 2%-8% of sexual harassment cases have been false.

  222. Pteryxx says

    Then the girl passes out and guy thinks: “Hmm why not, the bitch was asking for it.” It’ still wrong… but it’s tempting to a lot of men. It’s statistically proven to be the most common raping case.

    You’re dangerously clueless to be espousing that ancient bullshit. Research shows that the vast majority of acquaintance rapes are committed by predatory, repeat rapists who go out of their way to set up women and groom them as victims. You’re repeating the excuse that these guys use to rape MULTIPLE women and get away with it. Stop helping them.

    There’s a common assumption about men who commit sexual assault on a college campus: That they made a one-time, bad decision. But psychologist David Lisak says this assumption is wrong —-and dangerously so.

    * * *

    It might seem like it would be hard for a researcher to get these men to admit to something that fits the definition of rape. But Lisak says it’s not. “They are very forthcoming,” he says. “In fact, they are eager to talk about their experiences. They’re quite narcissistic as a group — the offenders — and they view this as an opportunity, essentially, to brag.”

    What Lisak found was that students who commit rape on a college campus are pretty much like those rapists in prison. In both groups, many are serial rapists. On college campuses, repeat predators account for 9 out of every 10 rapes.

    (emphasis mine)

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/predators-again-npr-cites-lisak/

  223. says

    Ok, I’m going to assume, despite your previous posts and name calling, that you’re arguing in good faith. Let me try to explain.

    The definition of “list” I am using is a series of things that are meaningfully grouped together because of a unifying theme. I am not saying there’s a list written down somewhere, or that said list is being used in any way, evil or good. I’m just saying that I have mentally kept track of the men I have received multiple complaints about. I also have mental lists of speakers I really like, foods I don’t like, my favorite Pokemon, microRNAs found in humans but not chimps, etc. Because multiple things within a same theme exist says nothing about what we do with those things.

    Does that make sense? Yes, I have a “list” of names in my head of the men that I’ve heard the most complains about. But I was never talking about an Official List that is somehow circulated as a way to ban people from speaking. That’s why we’ve all been passionately saying we don’t just want to outright ban people, and don’t want to name names. Because it was never our intention to ruin careers, especially based on second hand evidence. We understand this is speculative. That’s why we want to put anti-harassment policies (determined by an expert, not me!) in place to be more informed about the situation and create a safer environment. That’s all.

  224. NoxiousNan says

    “That is the way I see this, jen’s idea for a reporting system puts some of the onus on victims to name and report things to others without any gaurantee of action.”

    I’m confused by this, Skeptifem. It’s been a couple days, but I recall Jen looking for anti-harrassment measures. What reporting system? Because victims of anything need to report it for anyone to know it happened. Do you have an alternative to anti-harrassment guidelines for conferences that would add a measure of secirity without putting any onus on the victim?

    And ERV, Abbie and SN should be aware that many professions have conferences that include anti harrassment policies without anyone seeing it as an attack on poor menz.

  225. weltsley says

    Jen, delurking here as well, to give you some practical advice.

    I didn’t realize how young you are! As revolting as this has probably been for you, unfortunately, there will be more Abbie Smiths in your life as you go on through adulthood. And learning how to deal with those types of people, and by that I mean shit disturbers who thrive on drama (because drama is porn to them), the easier things will be from here on out.

    When someone makes an offensive joke, the options are to 1) don’t respond 2) play along even though you feel violated 3) object by telling the joker that you are offended. Now, when dealing with a normal person who has maybe overstepped unintentionally, #3 is the best choice and will likely result in an apology. But, with Abbie-types, not only will #3 lead to aforementioned drama, also allow the joker further opportunity to disturb your shit. They will pidgeonhole you as either too sensitive, humorless, hysterical, or being an attention seeking yourself. Abbie has pretty much accused you of all of these in subsequent comments.

    If you want Abbie-types to go away and shrivel like salted snails, the best option is #1. You therefore deny them the joy of drama (she was probably curled up with her dog and hot pocket for one last night, basking in the glow of blog/commentariat implosion.) A short fuck-off, a “please stop referring to me online” or a non-reponse will do, but I think Abbie does it best with her annoying *shrugs*.

    I read ERV until she called XMRV-what’s-her-name lady a cunt. While Abbie was right to criticize the research and associated crap, it is always unprofessional to resort to public name calling. I was surprised more people didn’t bail after that but, but she seems to have gathered momentum since then. No matter what Abbie thinks, her internet tantrums will not help her get hired. These days when employers have an inbox full of applicants boasting equally desirable skillsets, they will be screened for online comportment and dysfunctional behavior.

  226. says

    It was from Zvan’s post rather than yours that suggested the list be used to prevent people on it from speaking. In fact, my article was mostly in response to the things she wrote, not yours.

    I don’t have much argument with your intentions if they were not the same as hers at the start of this a few days ago (just before the topic changed to harassment policies). She also overly-obviously hinted that she would share the list behind the scenes. Also, she openly wished the events would use the list and not over-ride organizers who try to. That’s the stuff I was mostly reacting to.

    If there was anything in my article that you thought ‘hey, I didn’t say that’, it might be because Zvan said it, or implied it.

  227. julian says

    No.

    While you’re right to point out how bullies like ERV tend to respond to “back off” bullying and harassment arn’t solved by ignoring them. The bully continues to attack, continues to harass and continues to try to hurt others no matter what in large part because there is no shortage of people applauding and tolerating her actions (“Naughty Abby!”).

    The environment more than anything else is what allows bullies to thrive. Make the environment less hospitable for them, turn them into the pariah by villainizing that behavior, and you rid yourself of the bully (and spare others having to deal with them). That can’t be accomplished without forcibly telling them off.

  228. HumanisticJones says

    In Finland statistically 2%-8% of sexual harassment cases have been false.
    Big curiosity on this point, so I put it up top… Cite that source. That’s a fairly significant number, though it still wouldn’t make the necessary actions taken after the accusation any different in my book.

    On to the rest which I will do without fisking as most of this starts to group up.

    You said that changing the culture would take a long time and that we need short term solutions. I agree on that, until things are safe, women may need to take precautions to avoid being lone targets. But when those suggestions start turning into full on social controls, women are no longer being treated equally. It’s not the same convention for everyone if I can put on a tank top and tight jeans (which for my love of humanity I wouldn’t inflict on anyone), get plastered, and flirt openly but women can’t because of boogymen or because someone might be verbally abbusive towards them about it. But even beyond that, the problem is that there is still general misogyny in the movement. And the people calling attention to it now are met with derision instead of having their claims taken seriously.

    Changing society at large, yes, very big goal. Obviously we should start now and as hard as we can. Culture inside the atheist movement… much smaller microcosm. The problem being encountered right now, as recent event have shown, is that there is some focused resistance to even admitting there is a problem. Instead of acknowledging that there are some serious creeps in the movement, that some women have been targeted by them, and that maybe this is a problem that we should solve… we have people accusing those women of being teases that deserved it, slut shaming, name calling, accusations of lying, and I’ve even seen a comment on one blog accusing Rebecca Watson of having hallucinated her elevator encounter. I can’t say what the best solution to that is, but I know that the cause has to be treated so that the symptom can be avoided.

    There is an odd thing I’ve noticed with incidents like this. At one fetish con, there were a lot less severe incidents in my experience. It’s the family friendly convention where I’ve dealt with sexual harassment and assault cases. It may be because the fetish con policies are actually explicit about consent and the like. Maybe the majority of people there are people that already respect the nuances of consent and boundaries in open social situations. I don’t know, but this is the reason I agree with the idea of skeptic conventions having an explicit harassment policy. Sometimes all a person needs to not act like a creeper is to be reminded not to be, and the rules being explicit leaves no wiggle room for those that were going to break them anyway. The way that we handle stopping repeat offenses with the family con is that if security deems it needed, someone we bring in can be permanently black listed from registering for the con or from even being on the grounds of the convention in the future. Both conventions do have rules of conduct that would forbid such behavior, but the rules on sexual harasment are more explicit at the fetish convention.

    As to women appearing to be afraid to defend themselves, there are risks. If it isn’t clear already, making the call for help is no guarantee that anyone hearing it will actually help you. In some cases speaking up against a person in authority can result in becoming a social pariah. The accuser is jumped on while the accused is shielded and lauded. This isn’t just standard “innocent until proven guilty” or waiting until the evidence is in to make a judgement. This is “your accusation isn’t worthy of investigating” or “how dare you accuse X of that!”. That’s the reason for some of the fear here. As for fearing physical repercussions of fighting back during an assault… There’s articles out there, I don’t like to think, much less writing about that shit. It can be pretty triggering for people that have been through it to have to read it, plus it makes my blood pressure spike.

    We’ll I think I’ve changed my formating and direction enough that no ammount of proofing will make this actually coherent outside my own head. Hope I’ve managed to answer your concerns.

  229. Kemist says

    Having dealt with bullies for most of my school life…

    I have to second the opinion that ignoring them doesn’t work.

    In fact I don’t know what does. Some of them are fine and dandy even to the point of pushing their victims to depression and suicide.

    I’d say that making what they do known and avoiding interaction with them once you know might at least reduce the harm.

  230. AylaSophia says

    The problem with the “women dressing slutty are tempting to men” hypothesis is that everyone finds different things attractive; what is slutty or provocative to one might be either prudish or disgusting to another.

    I was raped by a “friend” in my own home, after a game of Magic: the Gathering, without a whiff of alcohol or drugs involved. And I was wearing my usual t-shirt and jeans, the type of thing that no one would find even remotely “slutty” unless they were the type of crazy fundie that thinks women in trousers is immodest. As Pteryxx says,
    Research shows that the vast majority of acquaintance rapes are committed by predatory, repeat rapists who go out of their way to set up women and groom them as victims. This was exactly my situation. Dressing differently wouldn’t have changed a thing.

  231. Kristine says

    Thanks. I always wanted advice from a man about how to act as a woman.

    How incredibly condescending. Not only is your advice not insightful or helpful it also labels all men as pigs. Good job.

  232. says

    When I was bullied in high school, all the authority figures would ever tell me is “just ignore it”.

    It worked in 9th grade when I didn’t know anyone and decided to just check out of social life for good because I’d always gotten treated like shit in the past.

    That isn’t advice, that’s avoidance. Bullying is a set of actions where one person or a group directly targets and marginalizes another person or group. What you are doing is victim-blaming; you don’t want to become the bully’s target, so you’re just going to give the victim something good-sounding and walk away.

    Never mind that the victim is in a marginalized position and is asking you, one of the not-bullied — the privileged — to stand up as an ally.

    The reason why schools have anti-harassment policies and yet we still have a bullying problem is because of teachers and administrators who act like you, trying to defuse conflict rather than resolve the actual problem.

    The reason why I and so many other victims of bullying are damaged and less functional is people like you. So with all that in mind…

    FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.

  233. says

    I would argue that changing the culture takes a long time. Years and decades but it should be done like you said. Traveling in packs and cultural change are not mutually exclusive things and usually short time changes are needed to achieve a larger goal.

    And, conveniently, these short-term changes involve re-hashing the same old bullshit “advice” for women — the victims — to protect themselves better, rather than policies that would help stop the perpetrators.

    Because that totally helps change the culture and stop harassment.

    And it’s totally, totally not sexist to focus on the women victims rather than the men who perpetrate the crimes.

    …your stupidity is showing.

  234. julian says

    She also overly-obviously hinted that she would share the list behind the scenes.

    Ok.

    You were just told a major speaker at your conference pinched some young attendee’s bottom. This is the 5th time you’ve gotten this complaint about this speaker.

    What do you do?

  235. gworroll says

    REgarding false accusations, it strikes me that a written policy and documentation tracking incidents and accusations could help protect against that.

    Someone can dispute actual data that unfairly villifies them. They can’t dispute hearsay and anecdote that might be misremembered or outright made up. “oh, so and so is a creep, avoid him”. If I was the alleged creep, what could I do to defend myself against that accusation? Beg the person to give me a chance, but that’s about it. And even that requires that they tell me this is why they are avoiding me.

    “You’re a creep because at 3AM on October 5th at YayCon you touched SoAndSo inappropriately at the bar”. “Umm, actually, I was at a completely different bar that night”. Much better situation for the falsely accused creeps, without preventing action against the rightfully accused.

    I see no problem with a written policy and formalized incident tracking. It would allow for enforcement that the vague anecdotes and hearsay do not, and will let the falsely accused actually defend themselves.

    At least a policy and tracking needs to go in as soon as possible. Enforcement policies can maybe wait until the community has a clearer and more reliable picture of what’s going on, so they can be tailored appropriately.

  236. Pteryxx says

    Exactly right, with one caveat. Information that’s completely specific to the incident, such as

    at 3AM on October 5th at YayCon you touched SoAndSo inappropriately at the bar

    absolutely needs to be *collected*, including the name and contact information of the person making the complaint, but it should not be supplied to the accused person in full detail because it identifies the accuser immediately. Whoever is responsible for speaking to the accused can say “Someone filed a complaint; where were you early on October 5th” without compromising the person’s defense. All reports should be held confidential, and particularly the identities of everyone involved, except as specifically required for reporting incidents under a harassment policy. Some reports will still be anonymous or pseudonymous; but anonymous reports can still be corroborated.

    *thought* – Actually, this is a good reason to ask for WITNESSES of harassment to file reports on their own, if any.

  237. gworroll says

    Good point.

    Disclosure of every detail of an accusation to the accused shouldn’t happen, as you point out here, enough can be given to allow them a chance to defend themselves without compromising anyones privacy.

    Also, the incident probably shouldn’t be removed entirely from the records just because a detail or two is wrong. People can make an honest and overall accurate report, but get something wrong. I have a coworker who could be confused with me in a darkened bar, especially if the observer had been drinking. Obviously, if details are proven false, note that in the record, but leave the record itself in place unless the entire incident is proven false.

  238. Pteryxx says

    gworroll: *nodnod* It really is important to keep *all* reports. For one thing, imperfect reports should still be taken seriously; but also, if there ARE demonstrably false reports, those should be kept for the total statistics and for any patterns of false reporting that might emerge.

  239. says

    Hi Jen,

    I’m pretty new here. In fact, I just discovered you, you know how? I am new to the atheist movement, and new to FTB as well. But I was on reddit a few days ago, which linked to Scented Nectar’s blogpost about you. Which led me to yours. I am appalled at her post and her comments, and pissed off for you, but I am grateful to have found your blog. I admire your strength and your tact.

    You have a new fan. :)
    Thank you for everything you are doing to champion Feminism. I’m learning alot.

  240. Pieter B, FCD says

    I am a male in the skeptic movement, and I don’t feel attacked. I grew up between two sisters in the late ’50s/early ’60s.

  241. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Yeah… I also make misogynist jokes sometimes.

    Apart from the whole complicated matter of -ist jokes, you quite obviously weren’t joking. You said it earnestly in an attempt to discuss the realities of sexual harassment, and did so to shift responsibility for preventing harassment onto women.

  242. Alexa says

    Oh god, are there rumors that Mr. Pluto Killer is one of them? If so, I’m going to combust from sadness. I ADORE him.

  243. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    People who fail to properly understand the “potential rapists” statement are reminiscent of autistic children

    Fuck you.

  244. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Maybe I’m being too harsh.

    “People who bitch about Schroedinger’s Rapist are such cunts.”

    That’s okay, right? *eyeroll*

  245. Sili says

    Well, she calls herself a hag, and her boobs were not lovely enough to cause earthquakes, so obviously she must be ugly.

    /snark

  246. says

    Yes and no. There’s a connection, in that both fail the Sally/Anne test. There’s a HUUUUUUGE difference, too. One seems to be doing it willfully, or perhaps through sheer narcissistic inability to care that not everything is about them; the other has a disability which ze will most likely work really hard on overcoming. So similar symptom, yes, similar cause, no.

  247. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    The symptoms aren’t even similar, except in the most superficial manner, because these people generally display the ability to understand naive perspectives on anything less emotionally charged, and it’s not clear that they actually have an inability to understand that others don’t have the knowledge they do, versus simply feeling entitled to trust and regard.

    There’s no reason to even mention people with autism in this context, unless one views them with such contempt that it seems like a good insult to compare male reactionaries to them.

    Hence the “fuck you” response to the part I quoted, both to the original asshole and to the various people who praised the statement without even noticing the flagrant ablism, despite the fact that they’d almost certainly call out a comparable statement of sexism.

  248. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    The Order of the Molly is an award given by the Phargynula commenter base, ostensibly for consistent excellence, insightfulness, and awesomeness as a commenter.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who can think of a few good reasons to be cynical about the criteria and selection process.

  249. richardgadsden says

    I do understand the problem – there are two meanings of “potential” here; one is a statement of statistical probability, ie 10% of men are rapists (from memory, but that’s in the ballpark) and there’s no easy way to tell from the outside which ones they are. The other is a statement of psychological capacity, ie all men are capable, if put into the “correct” situation, of raping. I think the problem is that people say the first and other people hear the second. I don’t think there is a word that would replace “potential” there and remove the ambiguity.

  250. Kitteh says

    Then why not avoid making obnoxious personal remarks if you want people to focus on the (presumably) real point of your article?

    Just an idea, y’know.

  251. Jamal says

    I’m a N*gger, and I have come to understand that sometimes sitting up the front of the bus makes you white folk uncomfortable, I used to sit up there oblivious to other people’s feelings. But it was later explained to me that some people get worried, as I, just like any POC are potential muggers/rapists/loud, people rightfully are fearful that I might make their journey an uncomfortable one.

  252. Jacques Cuze says

    It’s been almost a year now and she’s still going on about this?

    I used read and enjoy ERV. She seemed perfectly normal. Stopped reading ERV after the elevator thing got started ad never went back.

    BTW, anyone else still hoping the elevator guy goes public? He might not be that bad a guy, just clueless. Maybe this uproar has been a learning experience for him. But maybe not. He might just be a jerk.

    I suspect elevator guy is laughing at all of this.

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